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Combination Of Heat, Humidity And Wildfire Smoke Threatens Vulnerable Maine Coastal Residents

PORTLAND, Maine - A combination of heat, high humidity and poor air quality is putting people along the Maine coast with respiratory problems at risk.

Maine Department of Environmental Protection meteorologist Martha Webster says a huge smoke plume from the western wildfires, is reaching the East Coast.

She says movement of air pollution is typical, but combined with the high heat and humidity, it's making even healthy, physically fit people more likely to get sick from the heat.  

"And so what we advise People to do is to reduce the level of exertion or maybe change the time of day," Webster says. "If you normally jog, perhaps today's the day to walk your route, because if you reduce your exertion level you will reduce the level at which you are expsed to the higher ozone."

For people who don't have a cool place to go, some cities and towns are opening cooling centers.

The air quality is expected to improve somewhat after some rain moves in Tuesday night.

Nora is originally from the Boston area but has lived in Chicago, Michigan, New York City and at the northern tip of New York state. Nora began working in public radio at Michigan Radio in Ann Arbor and has been an on-air host, a reporter, a digital editor, a producer, and, when they let her, played records.