SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Everyone is frantically refreshing the Air Quality Index reading for their area, as they glance out their window at the pall of smoke.

What should you do to protect yourself? Dr. Kathryn Anderson, Onondaga County Health Commissioner

But what do the levels really mean?

When should you take action to protect yourself?

Below are the colors of the Air Quality Index and what kind of action you should take.

Courtesy of

The link to the air quality index and the levels of action would be good to keep handy this week.

The monitoring stations are keying in on particulate matter. More specifically fine particulate matter. The New York State Department of Health has this fact sheet on fine particulate matter.