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Schuylkill County News

Canadian Wildfire Smoke Prompts Code Red Air Quality Alert Thursday

Sensitive groups may have some issues outdoors on Thursday.

Schuylkill County and all of central Pennsylvania is under a Code Red Air Quality Alert until the end of the day Thursday.

The Code Red Alert is currently in effect and expires at midnight Friday morning.

A thick haze reportedly caused by more Canadian wildfire smoke is what’s prompting this Code Red Alert on Thursday.

The smoke is not expected to be nearly as bad as it was several weeks ago. That’s when the sky over Schuylkill County turned a light orange in some spots.

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Earlier this month, smoke reportedly from Canadian wildfires choked out the sun over Pottsville and created a surreal orange haze. The smoke is back this week but not as severe. (Coal Region Canary photo)

Haze should be thick enough to block out the sun, as it did at times on Wednesday.

With the air quality at this level, the Pennsylvania Dept. of Environmental Protection says everyone may experience some side effects of this smoky haze.

People with sensitivities to poor air quality may experience more serious side effects and are advised to limit their time outdoors.

According to information from, on days when the air quality forecast indicates Red (unhealthy), there could still be periods when it’s safe for outdoor pursuits. It’s advisable to refer to the current air quality updates to determine if it’s an opportune moment for outdoor activities.

Individuals with heart or lung conditions, older people, as well as children and teenagers should mitigate their exposure by refraining from intense outdoor activities or limiting the duration of such activities. The consideration of shifting physical activities indoors could be beneficial.

For everyone else, exposure reduction can be achieved by opting for less intense activities or reducing the time spent outdoors.

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