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Smoke from Canadian wildfires is now affecting Maine — and could worsen by Sunday

In this July 31, 2018 file photo, a crowd of early-risers gather near the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to be among the first in the continental United States to see the sunrise, near Bar Harbor, Maine. The town of Bar Harbor plans to begin charging to park next month. The move comes amid ever-increasing seasonal traffic to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, which set a visitation record in 2018.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP
In this July 31, 2018 file photo, a crowd of early-risers gather near the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park to be among the first in the continental United States to see the sunrise, near Bar Harbor, Maine.

Smoke from the wildfires in Canada is finally affecting the air quality along Maine's coast on Friday — and it could worsen by Sunday.

Martha Webster, with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, says that monitors have detected moderate levels of particle pollution at Acadia National Park.

"That was why we put the moderate forecast out for the entire coastline, and also the western and eastern interior regions, for today. And again, this is recirculating smoke. It is not direct transfer of the smoke," Webster says.

Webster says that "moderate" levels of particle pollution are not hazardous, and most people don't need to dramatically change their activity.

But she says people with lung or heart issues should reduce the duration and intensity of their outdoor activity.

While the air should be cleaner on Saturday, Webster says the early indications suggest that direct smoke from the wildfires could make it to Maine by Sunday.

"Not only are we worried about direct transport of smoke from the fires, we are also keeping an eye on recirculation. And as I said earlier, that is the situation for today," Webster said.

The agency will issue additional air quality forecasts this weekend.

Webster says for those who are in areas with heavy smoke, well-fitting masks will help to filter out harmful particles.