NHDES is warning of poor air quality in the southwestern part of the state through Saturday, urging residents there to take precautions.

CONCORD — Air quality in southwestern New Hampshire could be poor through Saturday because of calm conditions, low temperatures and pollution, state environmental officials said.

Children, older adults and anyone with heart or lung diseases, including asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, were urged to take precautions through Saturday, according to an advisory issued Wednesday by the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.

The warning especially applies to Keene.

According to state health officials, healthy people might also have mild health effects and should consider limiting strenuous or prolonged activities. Concentrations of particles are expected to peak overnight and during early morning hours each day through Saturday.

The cause, according to officials, is the combined result of low temperatures, calm winds (which limit air movement and inhibit dispersion) and pollution transported from surrounding areas.

“Much of this pollution is emitted from heating devices, especially residential wood-burning stoves and boilers,” state environmental officials said in a statement. “This pollution can more strongly affect communities located in valleys or other low-lying areas where temperature inversions are common.”

If they have alternative heating sources, residents should try to postpone burning wood until air quality improves, the statement said.

Air quality is expected to improve on Saturday, when winds are forecast to increase, officials said.

For information, contact NHDES at 603-271-1370. For air quality forecasts and current air pollution levels in New Hampshire, call 1-800-935-SMOG or visit the NHDES website at

Tuesday, August 04, 2020