Air Quality Alert - Health Advisory

Published on Monday, June 05, 2023

PROVIDENCE, RI – The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is notifying the public that another significant smoke event is expected to impact the state on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. An AIR QUALITY ALERT is being issued for UNHEALTHY fine particles on the Air Quality Index. The heaviest smoke is expected to impact the area Tuesday morning in the form of wood burning odors, haze, and unhealthy fine particles readings expected to last throughout the day. Unlike the previous Nova Scotia smoke event (which lasted only 3-4 hours), this event is expected to be prolonged and more impactful.   

Large uncontrolled wildfires in near Quebec have been burning over the weekend and continue to burn. A significant smoke plume has been impacting air quality monitors to our north and west. Some of the smoke is expected to impact the area after sunset on Monday, into MODERATE on the Air Quality Index, as northwest flows begin to transport the smoke to our area.     

For certain groups at risk for exposure to poor air quality, such as people with preexisting medical conditions, it is recommended to remain indoors with windows closed during the times significant smoke is affecting your area. Additionally, for people outdoors, N95 masks can reduce exposure to pollutants in smoke plumes. As mentioned, if the smoke is reaching the ground, you will smell wood burning with reduced visibility.   Elevated fine particles from smoke are expected to remain through Wednesday.

For detailed information, please refer to DEM’s air quality forecast page.

Additionally, EPA’s Fire and Smoke Map has detailed information on current air quality readings in your area, including DEM and Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) air quality monitors, along with the network of regional low-cost sensors.