Health Department warns residents about smoke

Eloise Ogden/MDN Smoky conditions over the city of Minot could be seen as shown in this photo, looking south, taken Thursday afternoon. The haze is from wildfires along the West Coast and western Montana, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. Related story on Page A5

BISMARCK- The North Dakota Department of Health urges residents, especially those with respiratory conditions, to consider limiting prolonged outdoor activities while smoky conditions remain across North Dakota.

However, Trinity Hospital’s emergency room did not have any calls as of mid-Thursday afternoon, according to Mary Muhlbradt, Trinity spokeswoman.

Wildfires along the West Coast and western Montana are sending smoke across the state, and particulate matter has been increasing over the last few days. Particulate matter consists of extremely small particles of ashes and soot found in the air.

Particulate matter can be irritating to the respiratory system, especially for those who suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or conditions such as asthma and allergies. The Health Department advises people with respiratory conditions, the elderly and young children to limit prolonged outdoor exposure.

High particulate numbers, coupled with hot temperatures over the next few days, could worsen respiratory conditions. People reacting to smoke to the extent that it is affecting breathing should seek immediate help from a medical provider.

For up-to-date information on the region’s current air quality and tips on respiratory protection during a smoke event, visit https://deq.nd.gov/AQ/monitoring/Wildfire.aspx.

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