Air quality levels vary as western fires continue

Devil's Tower was shrouded in a thick blanket of smoke over the Labor Day weekend.

PIERRE, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Smoke from wildfires from several states and Canada have impacted South Dakota’s air quality. Over the Labor Day weekend, wind brought smoke into western South Dakota creating concerns.

Monitoring sites in Rapid City, Wind Cave and the Badlands reported that the levels were above the 24-hour air quality level of 35micrograms per cubic meter several times between Friday and Sunday. Gusty winds on Monday helped push the smoke out of the state.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, air quality conditions will remain variable until the fires are out. The elderly, children and people with respiratory problems are more susceptible to air quality concerns, however anyone can experience problems when unhealthy levels are reached.

For more information on air quality in South Dakota, visit South Dakota’s Real Time Air Quality Index Map.