The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) tonight issued a Health Advisory because of smoke from agricultural burning. Officials said the levels of smoke in the air are unhealthy for all individuals especially those with asthma, lung disease, other respiratory conditions or heart disease as well as older adults and children. LLCHD advises those at most risk to stay indoors and avoid strenuous physical activity. All individuals should reduce prolonged acitivity outdoors and take more breaks. The poor air quality may continue for the next couple of days due to prevailing winds from the south and relatively low winds.
Extensive burning in the Midwest, especially the Flint Hills area of Kansas and areas in Nebraska EAST of Beatrice, have exposed people in Lincoln and all of Southeast Nebraska to unhealthy levels of smoke.
"The forecast indicates that our community is likely to be impacted tonight, tomorrow and potentially Thursday," Judy Halstead, Health Director said. "Smoke is made up of tiny particles and gases. When these are breathed into the lungs, they can cause asthma attacks, worsen chronic bronchitis and emphysema, and cause angina in some people with heart disease."
Residents are advised to keep windows and doors closed and use the "re-circulate" setting when using a vehicle air conditioner. Those who experience difficulty breathing, coughing, tightness in the chest or angina should contact a medical provider.
The LLCHD monitors air quality 24 hours a day, and the Air Quality Index (AQI) at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: air) is updated frequently. The AQI as of 8:00 pm Tuesday evening was red, meaning the air quality was unhealthy for all individuals.
For more information, visit health.lincoln.ne.gov.