It’s expected the area will be impacted by poor air quality for the third straight day, as smoke from the Canadian wildfires heads south.
Agencies from multiples states along the East Coast including Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey have issued alerts because the air quality is unhealthy and can have a great impact on the elderly, children and those with conditions such as asthma, and heart and lung disease.
Where is the smoke coming from?:Blame Wednesday’s poor air quality on Canadian wildfires
Climate change:Traveling Canadian wildfire smoke shows Delaware can’t hide from climate crisis reality
What is causing all the smog?
The Canadian Wildfires. The wildfire in Jackson certainly contributed to the smoke, but the bulk of it has been bellowing down from Canada. It’s reached as far south as Philadelphia as firefighter continue to battle the massive blaze.
What is the air quality near me?
Many areas of the East Coast received the brunt of the wildfire smoke Wednesday afternoon and into the night. The air quality index throughout most of Delaware, New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania was above 200, which is considered “very unhealthy,” according to airnow.gov.
This means the risk of health effects is increased for everyone, not just those who have lung and heart problems or other health conditions. By Wednesday night, many areas including Philadelphia saw levels reach 300, which is considered hazardous.
Here’s a link some levels as of 6 a.m. Thursday:
- Philadelphia: 367
- New Castle County: 374
- Sussex County: 190
- Wilmington: 49
- Doylestown, PA: 367
- Levittown, PA: 265
- Yardley, PA: 367
- Cherry Hill, NJ: 265
What does hazardous air quality mean?
Here is how to read the categories for the AQI index:
- Good: 0 to 50. Air quality is satisfactory and pollutants pose no risk
- Moderate: 51 to 100. Air quality is acceptable. However, there may be a risk for some people, particularly those who are unusually sensitive to air pollution.
- Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups: 101 to 150 Members of sensitive groups may experience health effects. The general public is less likely to be affected.
- Unhealthy: 151 to 200. Some members of the general public may experience health effects; members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects.
- Very Unhealthy: 201 to 300. Health alert: The risk of health effects is increased for everyone.
- Hazardous: 301 and higher. Health warning of emergency conditions; everyone is more likely to be affected.
When will the air quality improve?
Be prepared for hazy weather the next few days.
The National Weather Service said the wind trajectory that allowed smoke and hazy conditions to be seen in the New York City area could continue for the next few days.
The highest concentrations of smoke should start dissipating through the morning hours and into the afternoon across the region, according to the NWS. However, meteorologist expect the haze and smoke to become more dense later this evening.
A stalled low pressure system directing smoke southward may shift away from the region this weekend, but as long as the fires continue, the smoke may simply be directed towards other areas of the U.S., according to the NWS.
The smoky air will then work its way west over the next couple of days, AccuWeather said.
Is it safe to be outside?
Experts are urging residents that they should try limiting their outdoor exposure. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday provided these tips:
- If it looks or smells smoky outside, take it easier to reduce how much smoke you inhale;
- Choose a mask that will help protect you from smoke;
- Limit time spent outdoors by only performing essential activities and take frequent breaks indoors;
- Reschedule outdoor work tasks.
Should I keep my pets indoors?
Pets have lungs and hearts too. Do your best to limit your pet’s time outside. Your dog might not like it, but cut the walk short.
Can I open my windows?
You can, but probably don’t want to since it would just be inviting the dirty air into your home. And if you have any heart or lung issues, you’re going to want to keep them shut. It’s a shame too because it’s expected to be a beautiful day with lots of sun and a high temperature around 70 degrees.
When will air quality get better?:Smoke from Canadian wildfire to linger in Delaware, PA & NJ
Canadian wildfire smoke map:See where the haze is headed in Delaware, New Jersey and PA
Will wearing a mask help?
Yes it will. The better the mask, the more it will help, and just like during the pandemic, make sure it’s covering you nose and mouth. A mask will make it more barrable, but you still don’t want to be outside long in these conditions.
N95 respirator masks provide the best protection from wildfire smoke, according to the EPA. Cloth masks will not protect you from wildfire smoke.
How many acres are on fire in Canada?
In Canada, an estimated 414 fires are burning, 239 of them out of control, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Canada has recorded about 2,214 wildfires so far this year, according to Canadian officials. More than 8 million acres have burned, including about 500,000 acres in Quebec.