Genesee County, MI—Flint and Genesee County remain under a state alert as Canadian wildfires continue to impact air quality in the area.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) has extended a statewide air quality advisory that covers Genesee County into Friday, June 30, 2023, given the elevated levels of fine particulate, or PM 2.5.

Officials advise the public to stay indoors as much as possible and to avoid strenuous activity if it’s necessary to be outdoors.

“The best thing you can do is go inside and close windows and doors and get the indoor air clean using air filtration,” a June 29 Facebook post by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) reads. “If you have to be outside, N95 masks can offer enhanced protection. Surgical and cloth masks are not recommended.”

Levels of PM 2.5 are expected to range from being unhealthy for sensitive groups to the next level of concern, which is unhealthy, according to the EGLE advisory.

“We expect air quality to remain poor until we receive a good cleanout from a strong front and complete change in wind direction. As such, this forecast will be updated daily,” reads a June 29 notification from the the Michigan EnviroFlash program, which provides air quality information to the public.

As of 7 a.m. on Friday, the air quality index shows that Flint has an index value of 160 that falls within the range of unhealthy. The index runs to 500, with values 301 and above considered hazardous range.

A hotline set up by MDHHS can be reached at 800-648-6942 for health-related questions about air quality issues from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding holidays. Residents can also sign up for the state’s EnviroFlash system, which provides air quality updates in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency, by clicking here.

Nicholas is Flint Beat’s public health and education reporter. He joins the team as he graduates from Santa Clara University, Calif. Nicholas has previously reported on dementia and brain health, as...

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