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Smoke from West Coast wildfires to impact Stateline air quality

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 5:43 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Smoke from the deadly wildfires on the West Coast has blown thousands of miles causing a hazy sky in parts of the Stateline.

“But everything that we are seeing that just kind of indicates that our ground level is going to be normal for us,” said Brian Park, Rockford Fire Department.

Park says the hazy skies will be the biggest change.

“A lot of the particulate matter isn’t really falling to the ground or isn’t even coming down to ground level,” Park said.

Experts say only pockets of Illinois are experiencing an impact on the air quality but by Wednesday the entire state will shift from good to moderate air, which could impact a small number of people.

“People with lung disease would recommend that they try and stay indoors as much as they can. if they have to be outside to wear a mask,” said Samantha Hyland, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center respiratory therapist.

But not just any mask Hyland says only N95 masks will do the trick.

“To have on a regular mask will not filter out those particles,” Hyland said.

Hyland also recommends patients keep their windows and doors closed and be prepared if they begin struggling to breathe.

“They might experience more of a cough anything like that can irritate your eyes and lungs, especially having your inhaler nearby,” Hyland said.

If you do begin experiencing symptoms it’s best to call your doctor or go to the emergency room.

Copyright 2020 WIFR. All rights reserved.

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