SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) —  (Updated 5/19/23-10:30 AM) Wildfires in Canada are impacting Siouxland with hazy conditions and reduced air quality. A cold front has pulled the smoke we were seeing in the higher levels of the atmosphere Wednesday, down to the surface.

This has resulted in a smoky odor across the area, and continues to create issues with reduced visibility and significantly reduced air quality. The relatively thick layer of smoke has kept the lower levels dry and greatly reduced Thursday’s rain chances, although a couple light showers or sprinkles can’t be ruled out Thursday afternoon as the cold front sweeps through.

Air qualities as of Friday morning are mainly moderate for the southern areas, but still something to be careful of. People with respiratory problems or other health issues like heart/lung disease or asthma, and more vulnerable groups like older adults, children and teens, should avoid outdoor activities. Everyone else should limit intense outdoor activities, like running, keep outdoor activities short, consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them.

Smoke definitely won’t be as close to the surface as it was on Thursday, but there will still be some upper-level smoke for Friday and lasting into Saturday as well.

An air quality alert has been issued for all of the Nebraska counties in the KCAU 9 viewing area until 12 PM Friday.

The National Weather Service’s air quality alert included a list of tips on how to keep safe. You can view the list below.

  • Stay informed. KCAU 9’s weather team will continue to provide updates on the smoke.
  • Stay inside if possible, especially if you have any sort of respiratory concerns. Seniors and young children should also practice caution.
  • If you must go out, try to limit yourself to essential activities.
  • Minimize your use of things that create pollution such as cars, lawn mowers, and other vehicles.
  • Avoid any sort of burning during an air quality alert.