Monroe County is giving out masks because of poor air quality


ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Monroe County is giving out masks at libraries and DMV offices on Wednesday because of poor air quality from the Canadian wildfire smoke.

You can get masks in these locations:

Henrietta DMV, Frontier Commons, 1225 Jefferson Road Suite A26

Irondequoit DMV, Titus Mall, 545 Titus Ave

Arnett Branch, Rochester Public Library, 310 Arnett Boulevard

Rochester Downtown DMV, 200 E. Main St., Ste. 101

Greece DMV, The Mall at Greece Ridge, Use entrance #2 near Ruby Gordon

Central Library of Rochester and Monroe County Library, 115 South Avenue

Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue

Charlotte Branch, Rochester Public Library, 3557 Lake Avenue

Chili Public Library, 3237 Chili Avenue

East Rochester Public Library, 317 Main Street

Frederick Douglass Community Library, Rochester Public Library, 971 South Avenue

Gates Public Library, 902 Elmgrove Rd.

Lincoln Branch, Rochester Public Library, 851 Joseph Avenue

Lyell Branch, Rochester Public Library, 956 Lyell Avenue

Maplewood Community Library, Rochester Public Library, 1111 Dewey Avenue

Mendon Public Library, 22 North Main Street

Monroe Branch, Rochester Public Library, 809 Monroe Avenue

Newman Riga Library, 1 South Main Street, Churchville, NY 14428

Phillis Wheatley Community Library, Rochester Public Library, 33 Dr. Samuel McCree Way

Rush Public Library, 5977 East Henrietta Road

Sully Branch, Rochester Public Library, 530 Webster Avenue

Winton Branch, Rochester Public Library, 611 Winton Road North

County Executive Adam Bello partnered with County Clerk Jamie Romeo to make masks available.

“Smoke from Canadian wildfires is affecting our area again today and it’s likely this will continue to happen intermittently in coming weeks,” Bello said. “Fine particulate matter in the smoke can cause negative health impacts for some residents.”

The state issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the Western New York region on Wednesday through midnight as the Canadian wildfires continue to burn. The wildfires are bringing particulate matter, particles so fine they can enter deep into the respiratory tract, into our region.

You can get live updates on air quality through the AirNow website. As of 9 a.m., the air quality in the City of Rochester and suburbs to the west is considered “unhealthy”, meaning people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens should avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Everyone else should shorten the amount of time they are active outdoors.

Canada’s wildfire season this year is the worst on record, with around 29,000 square miles burning in eastern and western Canada, which is greater than the combined area that burned in 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2022

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