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Northeast air quality impacted by western wildfires

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 11:00 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The western wildfires are causing officials in our region to issue an air quality health advisory Tuesday.

Vermont and New York officials say the level of pollution will go over the air quality index of 100 in some areas. The index is a way to measure different pollutants on one scale. A higher AQI value means a greater health concern.

Exposure can cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath.

Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions like asthma and heart disease.

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon has grown to 537-square-miles -- a third the size of Rhode Island. It was one of at least 16 large, uncontained fires in the Pacific Northwest.

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