Smoke flowing out across the Atlantic and down the eastern seaboard reached Northeast Florida on Monday. It happened as Canada grapples with the worst wildfire season on record. In the northeast part of the country, there are more than 50 wildfires currently burning in Ontario and five active fires burning in Quebec.
Deep blue skies were replaced with hazy gray smoke particles leading to poor air quality in Jacksonville and surrounding areas.
The forecast model below shows a plume of blue spreading south into Norfolk, Charleston and into Florida.
The hazy skies on Monday and Tuesday are the fine particles aloft that have altered local air quality levels to unhealthy Red levels in Duval. Yellow covers most surrounding counties.
The biggest health threat from smoke is from fine particles. These microscopic particles can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, and illnesses such as bronchitis.
Fine particles also can aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases – and even are linked to premature deaths in people with these conditions.
If you are healthy, you’re usually not at a major risk from short-term exposure to smoke. Still, it’s a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. Everyone should take the steps below when wildfires are present.
The forecast keeps smoke across the area through Wednesday before winds subside and conditions improve by the end of the week.