Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet issues air quality alert: How to protect yourself and others


Abbey Cutrer

Smoky haze covers downtown Lexington on Wednesday, June 28.

Courtney Suber, Reporter

The Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet issued an air quality alert on June 28, which is expected to last until June 30 at 12 a.m.

The alert was issued as a result of the spread of smoke from the 2023 Canadian wildfires.

According to the Canadian Wildland Fire Information System (CWFIS), the number of wildfires currently burning is above average for this time of year.

The country has mobilized the use of national and international resources, and it is reported by CWFIS that the demand for resources is extreme.

Smoke from the fires have spread to the southern and midwest U.S.

ABC said that states in the northeast U.S. were affected earlier this month including Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland.

Cities in Kentucky, including Lexington, were issued air quality alerts. Despite the alert being set to be lifted at 12 a.m. on June 30, the air quality remained hazardous into the evening hours of June 29.

BreezoMeter, a provider of real-time air quality information, said the primary pollutant which was present at this time was PM 2.5. This is particulate matter under 2.5 cubic meters, which are particles small enough to enter the bloodstream. 

The air quality sat at a score of 164. The scale ranges from 0 to 500, with higher numbers representing worse air quality.

This score can cause health problems for everyone in the city. Members of sensitive groups such as those with asthma or other lung conditions may suffer from more severe health problems.

BreezoMeter also created health tips for those affected by the spread of the smoke.

General population

  • Reduce intensity of outdoor activities
  • Limit time near sites where pollutant may be released
  • Stay indoors with an activated air filtration system


  • Keep relevant medications on hand

AirNow also advises to keep windows and doors fully closed, run an air conditioning unit and avoid gas units like stoves and gas logs.

For updates, watch an air quality information website like BreezoMeter or Airnow. 

Information can also be found through the Weather Channel and your local news station.