MassDEP Issues Air Quality Alert for Berkshires, WMass

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BOSTON — The state Department of Environmental Protection is again warning of reduced air quality Monday afternoon because of the ongoing wildfires in Canada. 
An advisory is in effect through midnight Tuesday for Berkshire, Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Worcester counties.
The agency is advising people in sensitive groups to reduce prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion, take more breaks, do less intense activities, follow asthma action plans, and keep quick relief medicine handy. Watch for symptoms such as coughing or shortness of breath.
Sensitive groups include people with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, older adults, children, teenagers, and people who are active outdoors. People with either lung disease or heart disease are at greater risk from exposure to air pollution.
Nearly 900 wildfires have burned across Canada, including its eastern provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec. Air alerts were issued across the high plains and Midwest states over the weekend. Massachusetts has twice sent wildlands firefighters to aid in containing the blazes. 
Note: DEP late Monday extended the advisory through Tuesday. 

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Local Recovery Documentary to Premiere

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The public is invited to "Blueprint: Building the Foundation for Recovery," a new documentary featuring real stories of recovery in the Berkshires. 
The film is followed by a community conversation led by local experts including Dr. Jennifer Michaels from The Brien Center, Sarah DeJesus from BHS's Berkshire Harm Reduction, community members from the education field, emergency management, and individuals with lived experience. 
The two film premieres are the capstone events for the HEALing Communities Study (HCS). Wednesday, Dec. 13 at 7:00 pm at the MCLA Church Street Center in North Adams and Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7:00 pm at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield.
Events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is requested but not required.
During the past 18 months, local partners from the harm reduction, treatment, and recovery communities have collaborated on a shared goal of reducing opioid overdoses. Over 30 partners from across the Berkshires joined together in the HEALing Communities Study to increase naloxone distribution, raise awareness of all pathways to treatment and recovery, and reduce stigma around substance use disorder.
Blueprint is a new documentary from Outpost Studios weaving together stories from our community with local behavioral health experts. George Cox and iin Purwanti of Outpost Studios have interviewed over a dozen community members for the feature, with original music by local artist Matt Cusson.
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