Did you smell smoke in the air this morning? You were right. Smoke from multiple prescribed fires in the region accumulated under an inversion layer (caused by high pressure system). This has resulted in the fine particulate (PM-2.5) levels this morning in the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups/Orange on the Air Quality Index (AQI).
Poor ventilation will continue to affect air quality through the overnight hours before tomorrow’s frontal system brings rain and breezy gusting winds to the region. With the poor ventilation, it appears that several prescribed burn requests were denied today across the region and agricultural burning is restricted today.
Another potential contributor, albiet likely smaller, is wood heating. With the cooler evenings and mornings, people are starting to use their wood stoves and fireplace inserts. If you heat with wood, please follow the cleaner burning steps found here.