Smoke blowing into the region from wildfires in Canada has Evanstonians dealing with a second day of hazardous air quality Wednesday.

The website at 9 a.m. reported the air quality here “very unhealthy” with 216 micrograms of fine particulate matter per cubic meter of air.

The Illinois EPA has declared an Air Pollution Action Day through midnight Wednesday.

Under the guidelines, active children and adults, especially people with pulmonary or respiratory disease such as asthma, should avoid long or intense outdoor activity. Everyone else should reduce outdoor activity.

Because of the poor air quality, all Evanston swimming beaches are closed Wednesday. Swimming is not permitted and no lifeguards will be on duty.

City officials say the Robert Crown Center will be available as a clean air center until 10 p.m. Wednesday. Persons needing shelter outside those hours can call the city’s 311 center at 847-448-4331 or the police service desk at 847-866-5000.

The National Weather Service says we can expect thunderstorms and steamy weather Thursday and Friday.

The AirNow website says air quality levels should improve somewhat on Thursday and be even better by Friday.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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