RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Due to the Canadian wildfires, Richmond’s air quality index was measured at a code orange Friday, June 9, according to StormTracker8 Meteorologist Matt Dinardo.

But what exactly does the index mean?

The Air Quality Index (AQI) runs from zero – 500. The higher the number, the worse the air quality. On Thursday, Richmond was sitting at an AQI of 151. The range is also broken down into a more visual aspect by separating the numbers into six color categories.

At around 7 a.m. Friday, Richmond’s AQI was measured at around 119 — near the low end of the orange color category.

(Photo Credit: ABC News Photo Illustration)

In the orange zone, The air is deemed ‘unhealthy’ for sensitive groups, including kids, older adults, and people with health conditions. DiNardo said Richmond is expected to move into the yellow zone later in the afternoon Friday, however, everyone should still take precautions.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says poor air quality exposure can cause headaches, irritated eyes and sinuses and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms can include fatigue, chest pains or asthma attacks and an irritated throat could lead to excessive coughing.

If it’s hard for you to breathe, it’s hard for your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends making bathroom breaks for your animals as brief as possible and saving the rigorous exercise for when air quality improves.