Code Orange: Air Quality Alert for Philadelphia area due to smoke from Nova Scotia wildfires

Anyone diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease, and asthma should limit their time outdoors.

Center City Philadelphia skyline

Philadelphia skyline, looking east from the Schuylkill River (Mark Henninger/Imagic Digital)

This story originally appeared on 6abc.

Wednesday is expected to be another beautiful day in the Delaware Valley – except for one issue.

The National Weather Service has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Alert for most of the area, excluding Delaware, due to smoke coming from wildfires in Nova Scotia.

The jet stream is carrying the smoke from Canada, passing through New England and bringing it into our region.

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“A code orange air quality alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups,” the NWS says.

What you need to know: Anyone diagnosed with heart disease, lung disease, and asthma should limit their time outdoors – and no strenuous activities outside.

You may be able to smell smoke in the air depending on where you live. There may also be a bit of haze at times.

There’s the potential for smoke to continue on Thursday, but hopefully by Friday it will be clear skies.

The wildfire on Canada’s Atlantic coast has damaged about 200 houses and other structures and prompted the evacuation of 16,000 people.

Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston announced the province would be banning all travel and activity in all wooded areas as of 4 p.m. local time. The ban applies to all forestry, mining, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, off-road vehicle driving, and all commercial activity on government lands.

“We’re in a very serious situation in this province, and we need to take the steps that we can to protect Nova Scotia,” he told a news conference via a video call from Shelburne, Nova Scotia, where the province’s largest wildfire has been burning since the weekend.

“I wanted to get a sense of the damage here,” the premier said. “It’s extensive. It’s heartbreaking.”

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