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Here's why the air in North Texas was so smoky Thursday

Smoke nestles over a green pasture with cows.
Orlin Wagner
Associated Press
A threat of wildfires persisted Thursday across the Southern Plains after wildfires fueled by high winds broke out in Texas, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Smoky conditions temporarily lowered air quality in Dallas-Fort Worth.

Meteorologists say the smoky air across parts of North Texas on Thursday was caused by wildfires in the Texas Panhandle, along with blazes in Kansas and Oklahoma.

The conditions temporarily lowered air quality, which can be harmful for sensitive groups, including people with asthma, kids and older adults.

"That means that healthy populations, we don't expect to have any... particular health effects," said Sabine Lange, a toxicologist with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), "but that it's possible that some sensitive groups could have some health effects from that."

Ian McCaffrey, a meteorologist with TCEQ, says smoky conditions intensified in North Texas with the help of a cold front that stalled in the evening and overnight, causing the smoke to settle in the metroplex.

"The timing of the frontal boundary stalling over the Dallas-Fort Worth area combined with just how much smoke that the fires were creating was unexpected in terms of the intensity," McCaffrey said.

The TCEQ is forecasting moderate air quality in the region Friday and Saturday.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.