Officials with the Douglas County Health Department are asking residents to monitor the air quality this weekend as southerly winds and agriculture fires in northeast Kansas may push air into the unhealthy category.
DCHS officials say this mostly is expected to be from particulates in the air.
"This situation could mean anyone may experience health effects and members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects," officials said in the statement.
Health Department officials say air quality conditions may develop as early as Friday afternoon in the Omaha and Lincoln areas and could continue into Sunday.
They added that much of what develops depends on the speed and direction of the wind.
Officials are asking anyone with lung disease, respiratory disease or a heart condition monitor the air quality.
They are asking parents to monitor their children.
DCHD is asking the public to take these following steps when smoke is present:
- Use common sense: If it looks smoky outside, it's probably not a good time to go outside for strenuous exercise.
- Pay attention to local air quality reports: You can monitor the conditions at www.airnow.gov . Simply wait for the U.S. map to appear, then click on Omaha and zoom in. That page includes the forecast, and provides hourly updates.
- If you are advised to stay indoors: Take steps to keep indoor air as clean as possible. Try to avoid using anything that burns. Don't vacuum and don't smoke.
- If you have asthma or other lung disease: make sure you follow your doctor's directions about taking your medicines and following your asthma management plan. Call your doctor if your symptoms worsen.