10 Jul Canada’s Wildfires: A Threat To The National Park’s Wildlife
Wildfire smoke in ohio
Wildfire smoke from Canada entered Cleveland, Ohio Wednesday morning causing the air to smell like burning wood and a thick layer of smoke to appear. During this time, it disrupted Resource Management’s schedule for bird banding Wednesday morning. The air quality made it difficult for outside activities such as bird banding, and by the end of the day the air quality reached to over 263 AQI. AQI stands for Air Quality Index. The AQI tells us how clean the air quality is with categorizing the quality into six different groups. Towards the end of the day, Cuyahoga Valley National Park reached category 5, unhealthy alert. This means it was very unhealthy for people to be outside and advised for everyone to stay inside.
One of the main observations I took notes of was the smell of the smoke. The smoke was dry and overpowering. It had a burnt wood stench and caused my throat to become quickly irritated. With the smoke in the air, catching a breath without coughing once in a while became a challenge. Water sadly didn’t help much with the feeling. The sight of the smoke the first day was thick and hard to see at night with the street lights bouncing against the smoke. The sunset was covered in a thick haze which created an orange, reddish line in the sky. As beautiful as it was, there was a sense of eeriness knowing I shouldn’t be outside for too long. Physically, I was fine at first, but when the day was ending, I noticed a slight headache and constant coughing at night. My mouth became dry, and my sinuses were acting up.
Thankfully by the weekend, the smoked cleared up and the sky returned to normal. There were a few days into the next week where Canadian wildfire smoke appear, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as that morning Wednesday. When in doubt, if the AQI is high, stay inside.