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Weather Service Explains Smoky Air In B-N

Map of the Midwest
U.S. Air Quality Index
The view of central Illinois on Friday.

If you think the air smells especially smoky Friday in Bloomington-Normal, no, you're not going crazy. And no, nothing here is on fire.

The National Weather Service in Lincoln is tracking many reports of smoke in the air across central Illinois.

The culprit: A combination of prairie grass burning around Lake Springfield, dust/debris from dry fields and harvesting, gusty south to southwest winds, and a strong atmospheric inversion.

The air in Bloomington-Normal as of midday Friday was rated "moderate," according to the U.S. Air Quality Index. That means the air quality is acceptable, though there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.

The Bloomington Fire and Normal Fire departments both have toured the community to look for active fires, but have not found any.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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