DNR issues air quality advisory today for Milwaukee, Ozaukee and other lakeside counties

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has issued an air quality advisory effective Wednesday for five counties along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

Milwaukee, Kenosha, Ozaukee, Racine and Sheboygan counties are under a moderate air quality advisory today from noon until 11 p.m.

The air quality index is expected to reach the "unhealthy for sensitive groups" level. People with lung disease or asthma, those with disabilities, children, older adults, and those active outdoors, such as outdoor workers, should "reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion" while the advisory is in place.

Young, healthy people should be fine to run, bike or walk outside, said local National Weather Service meteorologist Aidan Kuroski.

Unlike last summer's severe air quality issues caused by Canadian wildfire smoke, today's advisory is due to ozone in the atmosphere, not smoke. Additionally, today's air quality advisory is much less severe than last summer's worst episodes.

Ozone-related air quality issues are more likely to happen when it gets hot outside, Kuroski said. Milwaukee is expected to see high temperatures in the mid- to upper 80s this afternoon. These types of air quality issues are also "a little more frequent" along the lake, he added.

A Milwaukee skyline is surrounded in a haze from Canada’s wildfire smoke on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. The quality of Wisconsin's unhealthy air continues from Canadian wildfires.
A Milwaukee skyline is surrounded in a haze from Canada’s wildfire smoke on Wednesday, June 28, 2023. The quality of Wisconsin's unhealthy air continues from Canadian wildfires.

How can I protect my health when air quality is bad?

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services recommends the following tips for you and your family to minimize the risk of outdoor air pollution:

  • Limit time outdoors and keep windows closed when the air quality is poor. You can call 211 to find an air-conditioned space near you if your home is too hot.

  • If you have asthma, make sure to take medications as prescribed and always have your quick-relief inhaler and spacer with you. Make sure your school or daycare has your child's asthma plan on file and any needed medications.

  • Consider wearing an N95 mask on days where particle pollution levels are elevated. No masks can filter out ozone, so stay inside on high ozone days if possible.

  • You can use an indoor air cleaner or filter if there are consecutive days of poor air quality.

  • You can sign up for DNR air quality advisories and check air quality forecasts at airnow.gov.

Wisconsin air quality advisory maps

Wisconsin weather radar

Wisconsin weather warnings

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Air quality advisory issued for Milwaukee, Ozaukee and other counties

Advertisement