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Wildfires in California impact Michigan air quality

Hadley Paul Garland

California wildfires are having an impact on Michigan air quality, according to officials with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

Experts say the last three weeks have seen increased levels of fine particles in the air which originate from California.

Jim Haywood is a meteorologist with the DEQ. He said there has been an increase of particles, measured in micrograms per meter, in the air.

“So the fact that we’re seeing anywhere from 13-15 micrograms on an average is not dangerous to our health but it is higher than what we typically see which is the 10-8 microgram range.”

Haywood said health officials don’t become concerned until the 35 microgram range.

Haywood said the wildfires have pushed smoke into the upper atmosphere.

“If you’ve noticed just going outside the last two/three weeks the skies look a little more whitish a little more grayish than normally.”

Haywood says the smoke has affected air quality across the continental United States - and will continue to for the foreseeable future.

He says blue skies will be a rarity in the coming weeks - until the California wildfires come to an end.

You can follow the air quality impacts of the California fires here: