Smoke from fires in Kansas are drifting into southeast Nebraska and causing health concerns. Other fires east of Beatrice, NE, are adding to the problem, according to the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD).
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s monitoring system rates the air quality as unsafe for sensitive groups – such as children, the elderly and those with chronic health conditions.
Judy Halstead, LLCHD health director, says those groups should not be outside until the smoke moves away.
“If they’re feeling adverse effects, they should contact their regular (healthcare) provider,” Halstead tells Nebraska Radio Network, “but if people are having difficulty breathing, if they’re having tightness in their chest, then we want them to take emergency action.”
Halstead says the poor air quality over most of southeast Nebraska likely stay through Thursday, unless the weather changes.
“As the winds go down, it will just sit in the air,” she says. “If the winds pick up or they change direction and we can get the smoke to disperse a little bit, we will be able to kind of back off of our advisory.”
Normally healthy people can be outside, Halstead says, but they should not do any strenuous work or exercise.
The U.S. E.P.A. monitoring website is HERE.