Local News

Hazy Skies Bring Poor Air Quality to County – Numerous Fire Department Calls


The hazy skies in Cortland County have prompted an air quality alert from the National Weather Service in Binghamton. The cause of the haze is due to the massive wildfires in Canada, which have already burned 6 million acres.

Smokey conditions have already prompted multiple 9-1-1 calls to Cortland County Emergency Dispatch. Cortlandville, Preble, and Virgil Fire Departments have all responded to reported smoke smells within their districts.

County residents will notice a campfire-like smell for the remainder of the day and possibly into tomorrow. Exposure may cause short-term health effects such as irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat.

It can also cause coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and shortness of breath. Exposure for those who have asthma and heart disease may experience worsened conditions. People with heart or breathing problems, and children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive to the current risk.

The best way to minimize the exposure is to stay indoors and keep windows closed. The NY Department of Environmental Conservation provides an up-to-date Air Quality Index, found HERE.

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