Pa. officials declare ‘Code Red’ air quality alert due to Canada fires

Smoke from wildfires smothered the East Coast on Wednesday, with officials urging residents to limit their time outside

By: - June 8, 2023 1:26 pm

Smoke from Canada’s wildfires casts a haze over the Philadelphia skyline (Photo by Joe LambertI/AFP via Getty Images).

By Justin Sweitzer

With smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada blanketing large portions of the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection on Wednesday declared a “Code Red” air quality alert for the entire state.

Officials from DEP and the Pennsylvania Department of Health are urging residents to limit their outdoor activities, warning that high levels of fine particulate matter from the fires could be dangerous for the elderly and people with respiratory conditions.

“Many of us really enjoy spending time outside; however, while the smoke from Canadian wildfires is affecting our air quality, we need to consider moving physical activities indoors or rescheduling them,” Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Debra Bogen said in a statement. “For the next day or two, I encourage people to limit time outside, especially if you are sensitive to poor air quality.”

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