As temperatures dropped at the start of the week, and as more and more households turn on their wood and coal furnaces throughout out the day and in the evenings, the air in most Macedonian cities quickly set new records in pollution.

Strumica is the most polluted city this evening, with PM10 particle concentrations of nearly 300 micrograms per cubic meter of air, which is off the charts compared to the maximum allowed limits. The industrial area of Miladinovci near Skopje is second, with nearly 200 micrograms, followed by Bitola, Kumanovo and Tetovo, who all range between 150 and 180 micrograms.

Macedonia enjoyed an unexpectedly warm autumn so far, and the weather was windy over the weekend, helping clean up the air. But as of this evening, the air in most cities is unsafe to breathe again.