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Large areas of US experiencing poor air quality due to Canadian wildfires

Several regions in the U.S. are suffering from poor air quality as the smoke from the wildfires burning in Canada make its way south.

A large portion of the of the U.S. has been seeing smoky skies for days, presenting unhealthy conditions for residents with heart or lung conditions, officials said.

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The National Weather Service has issued an air quality alert for all of Montana, as well as parts of Idaho, Colorado and Arizona.

PHOTO: Heavy wildfire smoke transported from Canadian wildfires can be found throughout northeastern Colorado on Friday, including Denver and the entire northern Front Range region. (CDPHE Air Pollution/Twitter)
PHOTO: Heavy wildfire smoke transported from Canadian wildfires can be found throughout northeastern Colorado on Friday, including Denver and the entire northern Front Range region. (CDPHE Air Pollution/Twitter)

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality urged residents on Friday to avoid outdoor activities in places with visible smoke and haze. Heavy smoke also began to pour into northeastern Colorado, including Denver, on Friday.

Health officials in Colorado and Montana issued air quality alerts through Saturday afternoon after conditions worsened.

PHOTO: The wildfires in Canada continue to burn, leading to smoky skies over a large portion of the northern US as shown in this air quality weather map. (ABC News)
PHOTO: The wildfires in Canada continue to burn, leading to smoky skies over a large portion of the northern US as shown in this air quality weather map. (ABC News)

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The air quality index on the Front Rage in Colorado reached 168 on Friday, according to the state's Department of Public Health and Environment. A reading between 151 and 200 indicates unhealthy conditions that affect sensitive groups as well as the general public, health officials say.

Idaho also saw widespread haze earlier in the week, according to the state's Department of Environmental Quality.

PHOTO: Firefighters retreat as flames approach, amid the Grizzly Wildfire Complex, in East Prairie Metis Settlement, Alberta, Canada, on May 19, 2023 in this still image obtained from social media video. (Alex Desjaralais via Reuters)
PHOTO: Firefighters retreat as flames approach, amid the Grizzly Wildfire Complex, in East Prairie Metis Settlement, Alberta, Canada, on May 19, 2023 in this still image obtained from social media video. (Alex Desjaralais via Reuters)

The wildfires burning in Alberta have prompted thousands of residents to evacuate, especially due to the health impacts from the smoke. There are also fires burning in British Columbia.

MORE: Smoke from fires in the West affecting air quality in cities more than 1,000 miles away

The air quality alerts will remain in Colorado through the afternoon, health officials said.

PHOTO: Jetliners taxi in heavy smoke at Denver International Airport, May 19, 2023, in Denver. (David Zalubowski/AP)
PHOTO: Jetliners taxi in heavy smoke at Denver International Airport, May 19, 2023, in Denver. (David Zalubowski/AP)

Many places in the Northeast will also be experiencing a haze in the sky on Sunday due to smoke lingering in the upper atmosphere. However, the smoke should not cause breathing issues in the area, as it is lingering roughly 20,000 feet above the surface.

The main impact from the smoke for much of the U.S. will be orange-red sunrises and sunsets.

ABC News' Daniel Amarante contributed to this report.

Large areas of US experiencing poor air quality due to Canadian wildfires originally appeared on abcnews.go.com