Canadian wildfire smoke impacting health of local residents

The smell of smoke from the wildfires in Canada is in the air all throughout western Massachusetts.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 1:45 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – The smoke from wildfires in Canada is something that everyone has been talking about the past 24 hours and the smell of the smoke is in the air all throughout western Massachusetts.

“I felt it more when I was in Connecticut. I have my job next to the airport and you see it more there. You can smell it too, like people having a barbecue or campfire,” said Carlos Kuilan of Springfield.

“It’s been very little impact on me and my family. I see how it impacts the sun. We’re not really getting much of it these days, but it hasn’t been much of an impact as far as my breathing or anything like that,” added Joseph Brownley of Connecticut.

Heavy smoke could be seen across western Massachusetts once again on Wednesday.

“I heard it at work that there’s a fire up in Canada and it’s coming all the way down here. You can actually feel it and see the smoke. It’s amazing and crazy,” Kuilan added.

Our Western Mass News First Alert meteorologists said much of the northeast remains under an air quality alert due to smoke from wildfires in Canada lingers.

“We’ve seen a big uptick in people having difficulty breathing calling 911 for having trouble breathing,” said Kim D’Angelo, operations manager at AMR in Springfield.

D’Angelo told us that people with asthma should stay indoors due to the air quality and they are also seeing an increase in people having side effects even if they do not have conditions, like asthma, due to the heavy smoke.

“Try to limit your time outside. If you have to go outside, we still have a lot of masks around from COVID. Those could help, as well, to wear when outside, but if you’re exercising, try to keep it indoors,” D’Angelo explained.

She said any type of mask can help protect you if you are having trouble breathing.

“Anything you’re breathing can irritate your lungs and that’s what is causing your chest to feel tight of short of breath, so the less that you’re taking in, the better off you are,” D’Angelo said.

Across the state line, Connecticut cancelled all school sports tournaments on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the MIAA decided not to despite the air quality alert in place.