Update: Air Quality in Youngstown Area Rated ‘Unhealthy’

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday issued a statewide Air Quality Advisory as smoke from Canadian wildfires continues to adversely affect air quality.  

The U.S. Air Quality Index rated the air quality in the Youngstown area as “unhealthy” at noon Wednesday. Earlier in the day, the air quality had been rated as “very unhealthy.”

When air quality is in the “very unhealthy” range, all people may experience health effects and should limit outside exposure when possible, according to a news release from the Ohio EPA.

The advisory is in effect through the end of the day. Real-time air quality can be viewed HERE.

Due to the poor air quality caused by smoke from the wildfires, tonight’s sold-out Robert Plant-Allison Krauss concert at Blossom Music Center has been canceled. Live Nation (the promoter), Blossom management and the artists made the coordinated decision in the interest of public safety, according to a press release. Refunds will be available at point of purchase.

A sold-out concert by The Doobie Brothers at Youngstown Foundation Amphitheatre was not canceled, according to promoter JAC Live.

Wednesday night’s game between the Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Trenton Thunder at Eastwood Field in Niles was also canceled, according to team spokesperson Heather Sahli. Fans holding tickets can exchange them for tickets of equal or lesser value to any other 2023 Scrappers home game, based on availability, at the box office.

Drifting smoke from the Canadian wildfires has lowered curtains of haze on broad swaths of the United States, pushing into southern Illinois, Indiana and Ohio, and moving into parts of West Virginia. In addition to the Youngstown and the Cleveland-Akron-Lorain areas, the AirNow.gov site listed air quality in Indianapolis, Chicago and Pittsburgh as “very unhealthy” early Wednesday. A wider circle of unhealthy air spread into St. Louis and Louisville, Kentucky.

Screenshot from AirNow.gov.

“Another round is going through western New York, western Pennsylvania later today,” National Weather Service meteorologist Byran Jackson said Wednesday. “And then that continues over the northern Mid-Atlantic. It will persist there into Thursday.”

“There’s particularly poor air quality … over southern Wisconsin, Illinois, central Indiana, and also another area over southeast Michigan, Detroit and Northeast Ohio around Cleveland,” Jackson added. “This is particularly thick smoke.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Pictured at top: Downtown Youngstown.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.