Air quality alert issued for NW Indiana due to ozone, wildfire smoke

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An air quality alert has been issued for parts of northwest Indiana as wildfire smoke and elevated ozone levels could pose problems for residents in the area.

According to the National Weather Service, the alert will be in effect beginning at midnight, and will cover Lake, Porter, Newton and Jasper counties.

Officials say lingering Canadian wildfire smoke could potentially cause air quality issues on Thursday. Elevated ozone levels are also possible due to increased demands on the power grid and the increased use of air conditioners with warmer temperatures in the forecast.

Residents with preexisting respiratory issues, as well as active younger residents, are urged to avoid prolonged outdoor activities while the alert remains in place.

Wildfires in western Canada have caused smoke issues throughout the United States this summer, and things took another turn this week as a wildfire crossed the border from the U.S. into Canada, further taxing efforts to control the flames.

As of last week, more than 1,000 fires were reported across that country, with more than 600 burning completely out of control, according to the New York Times.

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