Smoke triggers pollution alerts in US West, Midwest

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In this grab taken from video released by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, an air view of smoke from a forest fire in the republic of Sakha also knows as Yakutia, Russia Far East, Saturday, July 17, 2021. The Russian military has used its heavy-lift transport planes to help douse wildfires in Siberia. The Defense Ministry said Saturday that over the last 24 hours the crew of Il-76 military transport planes dropped water on forest fires in Yakutia in northeastern Siberia. The ministry said that military helicopters also dropped water to extinguish fires and also carried firefighters. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via AP)

DENVER (AP) — Numerous areas of the U.S. West and Midwest were under air quality alerts on Sunday as wildfire smoke lingered over much of the country.

Alerts were in place across much of the northern U.S. Rockies, including portions of Colorado, Wyoming, Washington state and Idaho.

Further to the east, smoke from fires burning into Canada triggered pollution alerts in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

Wildfires emit huge volumes of microscopic smoke particles that researchers say can be harmful if breathed in and lead to both immediate and long-term health impacts. Children, the elderly and people with underlying health conditions are particularly at risk.

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