A smokey sky over Michigan during the Air Quality Alert.

Smoke Alert! Huron County Under Air Quality Advisory Due to Wildfire Smog

In an important update for the residents of Michigan, the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy has announced an Air Quality Action Day for today, July 25th. The air quality alert draws attention to the expected elevated levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), which pose a particular risk to certain vulnerable groups.

Air Quality Alert: What Does it Mean?

Under the Air Quality Index (AQI), the alert signifies a day where air pollution is anticipated to reach levels that could be harmful to sensitive individuals, categorizing the day as ‘Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups’ (AQI Orange).

Unprecedented Uptick: Saginaw Bay in the Spotlight

So far, 2023 has been an unusual year for the Saginaw Bay region. Notably, there have been 10 Air Quality Action Days recorded in this year alone. What makes this statistic so startling is the comparison with the past 30 years – a time span in which only 3 such days were logged.

This significant escalation is not just a numerical increase. It indicates a drastic change in the environmental conditions that demand our attention and action. For comprehensive data on past Air Quality events, visit the EGLE website.

Affected Areas

Here’s a list of the Michigan counties affected by this alert:

  1. Midland
  2. Bay
  3. Huron
  4. Saginaw
  5. Tuscola
  6. Sanilac
  7. Shiawassee
  8. Genesee
  9. Lapeer
  10. St. Clair
  11. Livingston
  12. Oakland
  13. Macomb
  14. Washtenaw
  15. Wayne
  16. Lenawee
  17. Monroe

Smoky Skies: The Culprit

The rise in PM2.5 levels is linked to smoke originating from wildfires in west and central Canada, which is moving across the state, thereby escalating the Air Quality Index into the Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups (Orange) range.

The Vulnerable: Who Should Be Extra Cautious?

Individuals with lung disease (including asthma), heart disease, children, and older adults fall into the category of sensitive groups who should limit prolonged or heavy exertion.

What You Can Do

Residents can help by reducing activities that contribute to air pollution. These include outdoor burning, use of residential wood burning devices, reducing vehicle trips, and limiting vehicle idling and refueling.

Additionally, it is advised to keep windows closed overnight to prevent smoke from entering indoors. Running central air conditioning with MERV-13 or higher-rated filters, if possible, is also recommended.

For more information, visit the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Air Quality page.


Staying aware and taking preventive measures can help combat the effects of the Air Quality Alert. Let’s all contribute towards reducing air pollution, ensuring a healthier environment for all.

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Michael Hardy

Mike Hardy is the owner of Thumbwind Publications LLC. It started in 2009 as a fun-loving site covering Michigan's Upper Thumb. Since then, he has authored a vast range of content and established a loyal base of 60,000 visitors per month.

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