State and local officials discuss air quality in Wyoming

Published: Jul. 28, 2021 at 5:29 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - As wildfires persist in the west, Wyoming residents may still be seeing the haze. Casper residents may notice that Casper Mountain has seemed a little hazy recently as well. Although air quality is good, state and local officials want residents to be aware of what this means.

“We oversee a lot of the regulated community and those activities that can lead to pollution and make sure that we go through permitting and compliance to ensure that they are meeting the standards of the state,” said Keith Guille, the Public Information Officer for Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality.

The Department of Environmental Quality has several monitors around the state that show air quality in real time. These air quality monitors can track particulate matter and ozone pollutants.

When the pollutant levels rise due to wildfires or other causes, that’s when air quality readings decrease. The Department of Environmental Quality uses these monitors to notify residents of changes as soon as they can.

“I can always see the public’s concerns when they start smelling and see the smoke come into their communities. We share that concern because, hey, we live here in these communities as well,” said Guille.

Although Casper is experiencing light haze and good air quality, local health officials suggest planning ahead when traveling to areas that may be heavily impacted by smoke.

“If you’re going to be spending time outside and you’re possibly bothered by that smoke that you try to plan when maybe it will be a day that there’s a little bit less of it in the air or a time of day when it seems to be a little bit better. Then just really kind of strategically planning how long you plan to spend out there,” said Hailey Bloom, the Public Information Officer for Casper-Natrona County Health Department.

As air quality continues to change throughout the summer, state and local officials will work to keep residents informed.

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