The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection is urging people in Essex, Suffolk and Eastern Norfolk counties to reduce time outdoors and strenuous activity on Thursday, over air quality concerns.
The department issued an air quality advisory, which is effective 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday, due to smoke from the wildfires in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia traveling into the region.
In an announcement, MassDEP said the air across the three counties is expected to be "unhealthy" for people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, teenagers and people who are active outdoors. It advised these groups to "reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion, take more breaks, do less intense activities, follow asthma action plans, and keep quick relief medicine handy. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath."
The department has also instructed fire departments across the state to avoid issuing open burn permits Thursday, because air pollution levels will be higher than normal.