COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted into central Ohio over the course of several days, and while it has spread further into the United States, the local impact could be dwindling.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) tracks air quality for much of the state and warns when any contaminant could make spending time outside potentially hazardous. From Tuesday to Thursday, the organization issued Air Quality Alerts for much of the state, tracking pollution levels seen for “the first time in 13 years” thanks to smoke particles from the wildfires.

On Friday, however, no Air Quality Alert went out. MORPC released an air quality rating of “good” for the Columbus metropolitan area. However, an air quality report from the Environmental Protection Agency gave a “moderate” pollution rating as of 11 a.m.

See a report about the Canadian wildfires’ impact on the United States in the video player above.

Storm Team 4 noted that air quality is improving across the U.S. Midwest and the Northeast for several reasons. A low-pressure system in the northeast has been circulating some of this smoke around it, and Ohio has picked up some of that as well. That low will continue to push offshore going into the weekend, helping to reduce the local effect.

Additionally, high pressure is moving south of central Ohio. This high pressure will begin to shift winds from northerly, to more westerly into Saturday, helping to improve local air quality as well. As that high continues shifting eastward, winds shift more southerly by Sunday, which continues pushing this smoke away.

Then, Sunday evening and into Monday, rain arrives, which should help cleanse the air. From then on, wildfire activity including how much is still burning, and what the weather pattern looks like at the time, will determine whether more smoke heads toward Ohio.

MORPC told NBC4 that it based the decision to not send an Air Quality Alert on Friday on a variety of factors. While wildfire smoke remained in the region, it was less dense on Friday than it was Tuesday through Thursday. It also anticipated winds cutting off the flow of smoke and pollutants from Canada on Saturday.

How to check the air quality across Ohio

To get real-time reports on Ohio air quality, there are a few options available:

  • MORPC maintains an air quality report on its website and shares that data by ZIP code. To view daily and historical reports, as well as a breakdown of the environmental factors the organization weighs in compiling them, click here.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency also maintains its own air quality reports for the entire U.S., and sources state agencies for local data. Its website AirNow lets anyone check an hourly air quality report city by city, as well as with an interactive map.