Smoke from Canadian fires is pouring into the US and could linger for days

Anybody else monitoring the situation.

I have a friend in Blair NE that had outside air in the 160AQI range for multiple days: coming from western Canada fires. With his portable air purifier his inside air never went above 2 ug m3. He was prepared.

In contrast, I have been monitoring the relevant posts on Reddit (Air Quality & Air Purifiers forum). There seems to be a significant number of Canadian’s who have neither PM2.5 monitors in their homes nor air purifiers.

With El Nino forming, the scientists think we will have 5 years of record heat. This normally means more fires.

I have been trying to encourage friends and family members to at minimum purchase an air sensor so they understand the potential risk from the air in their homes. Although they are generally well educated, I see a general difference in their response correlating with their political party. It seems like COVID déjà vu. Unlike Covid, they won’t have any near term understanding that lives are being needlessly lost.

I live in Alberta,Canada; just north of Red Deer (Aspen Springs Rustic Barn). Wildfire smoke enveloped the entire province last week. Readings on my sensor were extremely high (180 - 400+) May 16-18 and May 20-22. Rain on the 22nd gave us a break - winds are now keeping the sky clear. Grateful for international firefighters assisting in NW area of the province where it is still extremely hazardous.

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We’re getting hit hard today in upstate New York. I have an air filter running and it is making a difference between the inside and outside air. Right now as I type this I’m getting 190 outside and only 65 inside.

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Syracuse and Utica, NY are bad with smoke this morning Wed Jun 7, 2023:

But, according the Washington Post, EPA thinks our numbers are reporting too high. PurpleAir PM2.5 performance across the U.S.#2 | Science Inventory | US EPA I should add that they are probably wrong, I have no reason to doubt the Purple Air Maps from what I have seen. I just upgraded my sensor to the newest flex.

Possibly it is just a different interpretation of the standards, or EPA was just wrong. That EPA paper may be old too. This is the Washington Post story from this morning: The best air quality index apps to check wildfire smoke near you

Joe, it is true that the PurpleAir sensors read high using the raw data (no conversion) however in September, 2020, EPA came up with a conversion calculation that brings the PurpleAir AQI numbers down to be more in line with the EPA monitor readings. PurpleAir incorporated the EPA conversion on the PurpleAir map as an option. To apply the EPA conversion, click on the box in the upper left corner of the PurpleAir map where it says “US EPA PM2.5 AQI” and in the dropdown click on the box next to “Apply conversion” and select “US EPA”. Here is a link to the map with the US EPA conversion applied:

Also, EPA in 2020, added the PurpleAir sensors (squares) to the Fire and Smoke Map with the EPA conversion already applied.

Hope that helps.

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I live in Nova Scotia next to the large Shelburne fire and we saw reading over a wide area up to 575 one night on May 31. At that level the outside air became very toxic and even with inside air filters it was no sure thing keeping the inside air acceptable. Very scary night. I use to think climate change would be a slow gradual thing we would just get use to but it seems clear to me now it may come as a fast moving climate storm that we are unable to deal with.

I’m in the Midwest, and we’ve been getting it from both sides - winds out of N,NW bring bad air from the fires in Alberta, and winds from the N,NE bring it from Quebec. Not to mention the usual from the regional traffic and industry. Readings in the upper 100’s most of the night and day.