Update (8:00 p.m.): The alert from the state Department of Environmental Conservation regarding local air quality has been extended through the end of Friday. It has been extended the last two days.

The air quality continues to hover around the “unhealthy” range in Tompkins County, which is expected to continue at least one more day.

Original story (10 a.m.):

ITHACA, N.Y.—A hazy June has continued this week, as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to adulterate the air around Ithaca.

Smoke and related particulates have sent the Air Quality Index on another rise, registering 179 as of 9 a.m. Thursday morning in the “unhealthy” range. AQI under 50 is considered healthy, and the higher the number the more unhealthy the air is. Earlier this month, Ithaca hit over 400 AQI while the impacts from the wildfires were at their peak.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced the extension of an air quality warning until the end of Thursday, June 29. The warning was previously set to end a day ago.

People with conditions that make them more sensitive to air quality are again encouraged to avoid strenuous activities outdoors while the air pollution is so elevated.

“When pollution levels are elevated, the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects,” states the DEC. “People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician.”

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief of The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.