Thickest Wave Yet of Wildfire Smoke Covers Northland

DULUTH, Minn.– It’s another busy day along the Lakewalk in Duluth. But as air conditions change due to the wildfires, health officials are urging some extra caution.

The smokiest air yet from the Canadian wildfires taking over the Northland Thursday, creating unhealthy air for anybody breathing it.

“So you’re breathing that in, and that material can be very irritating to your lungs and can make it hard for you to breathe. It can also make it very hard for people who have underlying respiratory conditions,” said Dr. Amery Robinson, an ER Physician at St. Luke’s.

The smoke we are breathing for days at a time just won’t let up during this hot and dry summer. Experts say the smoke can create serious health issues if you aren’t careful.

“Making it real difficult for them to breathe,” said Dr. Robinson.

Dr. Robinson says that material inhaled from the smoke can be irritable to lungs, making it hard to breathe, especially for those with underlying respiratory conditions such as asthma or smoking.

“Those wildfires release a lot of particulate matter that then gets suspended in the air,” he said. So much like, it you were around a campfire and it was hard for you to breathe, this is just like a city wide or state wide example of that.”

Dr. Robinson says to be mindful of any respiratory symptoms when spending long amounts of time outside. And that those who are impacted should go indoors with the windows shut and have an air conditioner or air filter on. But he says as long as you play it safe, there shouldn’t be a big reason for concern.

“If you have no underlying health conditions, there’s not really anything you need to be too worried about,” he said.

Down along the Lakewalk, people walking through could see the smoke covering most of the city. Barry Chastey was walking down the path with his family and says that he’s feels comfortable enough and isn’t worried about the difference in air quality impacting his run.

“Hopefully it doesn’t have any effect on us. We’re lucky this is such a clean place, clean air normally,” said Chastey. “I was down here yesterday, it wasn’t too bad yesterday either with the breeze but obviously like I said I just got done with work. Up at Scholastica it much more smoky up there I felt like.”

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