Smoke from Canadian wildfires cause air quality alerts across SE Michigan

There are hazy skies over Metro Detroit Wednesday - which you can see-- and sometimes even smell-- the smoke from hundreds of wildfires in Canada.

The conditions have triggered air quality alerts for most of Southeast Michigan. It means it's not safe for some people to be outside for long periods of time and this is especially dangerous for groups with certain respiratory issues.

What makes this different than a typical air quality alert, is that it is the first time it has been issued due to smoke.

"It’s days that stuffs been flying in the air, that is when (your) nose gets to itching and (coughs)," said Kelvin Wheeler.

Wheeler normally deals with having bronchial asthma, so naturally this makes it even harder.

"I put that mask on, that will keep it all out," he said. "over my nose, I keep it down so I can breathe a little and drink some water. Other than that, yeah, I keep that mask on."

An Air Quality Action Day Advisory was put into effect for Wednesday through Thursday for fine particulates, brought on by smoke from the wildfires.

"Anyone with an underlying respiratory problem being outdoors is not safe," said Dr. Devang Dosh, Corewell Health pulmonologist.

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Doshi, who is also an allergist, says people in this category will see increased respiratory symptoms, coughing, congestion, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.

"Really with anyone with an underlying respiratory problem, being outdoors is not safe," he said. "If you’re allergic to pollen that’s going to add more insult to injury."

The doctor's prescription is to stay inside if you can.

"As tempting and as beautiful as it looks outside, I would try to avoid keeping windows open and try to avoid being around fresh air," he said. "If you do need to go out, try wearing an n95 mask and limit your time outdoors."

Heavy wildfire smoke and haze has impacted the East Coast where Major League Baseball postponed games with Tigers and Phillies in Philadelphia as well as the White Sox and Yankees in New York City.

Former FOX 2 Weather Authority Michael Estime sent photos from New York where he now works at FOX Weather showing how thick and heavy smoke has affected the air quality. His photos are below.

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Photos courtesy of Michael Estime