Canadian Wildfire Smoke Prompts Code Orange Alert Across Northern Maryland


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BALTIMORE COUNTY - Canadian wildfire smoke, originating from British Columbia and Alberta, is forecast to move into Maryland, affecting Baltimore and Harford Counties, starting Monday, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The smoke and subsequent rise in ozone levels are expected to lead to air quality conditions that could be detrimental for sensitive groups.

Residents in western and northern parts of the state, including the I-95 corridor, are advised to expect unhealthy levels of smoke from midday Monday through midday Tuesday. The smoke is anticipated to be visibly noticeable, although less dense than previous incidents earlier this year.

Credit: Maryland Department of the Environment.

Simultaneously, elevated ozone concentrations are predicted, especially in the northeastern half of the state, along and north of I-95. The rise in ozone levels, compounded by wildfire smoke, is expected to degrade the air quality further, resulting in some areas' Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (USG; orange) conditions.

As the smoke begins to dissipate from Tuesday, attention will shift toward the lingering impact of elevated ozone levels, particularly if cloud cover and rainfall remain scarce. Unhealthy air quality due to ozone is plausible, and moderate Air Quality Index (AQI) levels, owing to either ozone or fine particles, are expected to persist through Wednesday.

Air quality alerts due to smoke are anticipated to be lifted by midday Tuesday. However, residents are advised to stay informed about the latest updates on air quality conditions via the Maryland Department of the Environment's website.

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