Wildfires impact island air quality

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The air quality on Mount Desert Island was impacted this week by wildfires.  

By 11 p.m. Monday, readings for particle pollution had reached unhealthy levels for sensitive groups and did not fall substantially until about 2 p.m. on Tuesday. 

The park issued an air quality alert late Monday evening noting that smoke was headed back to Maine from wildfires in Canada and Oregon. Sensitive groups – those with heart or lung disease, the elderly, teens and children – should avoid strenuous activities, take frequent breaks and stay hydrated.  

Acadia’s air quality specialist Bill Gawley noted how unusual it was for such high particle pollution readings, and noted that in his 28 years in Acadia, he could only recall issuing one other health alert for particle pollution. Unlike high ozone levels, which tend to occur from late afternoon through the evening, high particle pollution levels can occur at any time, although they tend to be highest in the morning, as they were on Tuesday. 

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