Local residents react as wildfire smoke begins to clear in western Massachusetts
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB/WSHM) - The local impacts of the Canadian wildfires continue to make headlines as we wrap up the second consecutive day of poor air quality here in western Mass.
For much of the week, air quality has been compromised here in western Mass, locals look forward to the smoke finally clearing.
“It felt like something was burning,” said Jean Michael Riosdepedero of Springfield.
A hazy sky covering the area Tuesday and Wednesday as smoke from wildfires in Ontario and Quebec made its way into the northeast.
The smoke compromised air quality and prompted an air quality advisory in many local communities including Springfield, where Jean Michael Riosdepedero lives and told us he felt the impact of the smoke in the air.
“I could feel the smoke and the ashes were coming down,” said Riosdepedero. “And I could feel my throat. It felt something in my throat during that time.”
Riosdepedero told us he was surprised to learn that we’re feeling the effects from something happening so far away.
“I was surprised the air pollution from Canada is coming all the way here to Massachusetts. That’s insane!” said Riosdepedero.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection issued a state-wide advisory saying the air quality can be unhealthy for sensitive groups and also advised people to stay indoors when they can.
As for Riosdepedro he’s noticed an improvement from Tuesday’s conditions and says he isn’t nervous about being outside until the advisory expires Wednesday at midnight. Instead, he says the sun’s reddish glow on Tuesday and the hazy sky on Wednesday has brought a unique beauty to the area.
“I think that was beautiful,” said Riosdepedro. “Like yesterday, everything out here, like the sun, the shadows and shades, was so beautiful. To say, coming from wildfire, it brought something beautiful to the environment.”
In Springfield, the air quality alert is set to remain in effect until 7:30 a.m. on Thursday.
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