The smoke returns once again! Earlier Wednesday morning, Jun 28, 2023, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a code read air quality alert for the entire state of Pennsylvania. The DEP says young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory problem are especially vulnerable.
“The wildfire smoke has progressed further east overnight faster than models have been projecting, which will result in the higher concentrations of fine particulate matter reaching the area from the northwest earlier on Wednesday earlier than expected,” the DEP said on its Forecast Discussion on airnow.gov.
Canada is home to some of the densest forests in North America and experience wildfires to some magnitude every year. However, the current wildfires are being described by authorities as devastating. Officials are predicting this wildfire season to be the worst the country has ever seen!
According to CBS news, officials on Wednesday reported the highest number of current active fires in Quebec, with 113, down from 117 on Tuesday. British Columbia, along Canada’s west coast, had the second-highest number of active blazes — 94, which was down from 99 the previous day — followed by Alberta and Ontario.
What To Do
Here’s what you can do in the mist of a code red:
- All Pennsylvania residents should limit time outdoors, especially vulnerable populations, including small children, the elderly, and those with respiratory ailments.
- Avoid unnecessary trips in the car
- Avoid idling
- Carpool when possible
- Avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment
How Long Will It Last
According to the Pennsylvania DEP, smoke from the wildfires is expected to impact Pennsylvania air quality throughout Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. You can expect some possible relief on Saturday. However, the P.A. DEP will continue to update the forecast.
You can check the air quality levels in your area by visiting here.
The Second Time Around
As you recall, this is the second time Philadelphia has been under a code red. Three weeks ago, the city was also under a code red due to the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. As a result events were held indoors, some cancelled, and others stayed home completely. At its worse, the city was blanketed by an orange, ashy haze.