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Unhealthy air quality affecting central PA will likely continue into Friday, according to DEP

 Screenshot of a map showing Canadian wildfire smoke
This screenshot of an map shows Western Pennsylvania measuring in red "unhealthy" air quality levels on Wednesday, June 28, 2023.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection declared a statewide “Code Red Air Quality Action Day” Wednesday and Thursday because of fine particulate matter in smoke from Canadian wildfires.

The DEP said young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems should avoid outdoor activities. Everyone else should cut down on prolonged or heavy exertion. 

To stay safe indoors, use an air filter if you have one, keep windows and doors closed and avoid using candles or smoking. 

The DEP also had advice on how community members and businesses can help reduce pollution. Avoid burning leaves and trash, and don’t use gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. 

The DEP said it expects effects on air quality to continue into Friday, but said there could be relief on Saturday. It will continue to update the forecast.

Residents can check for local conditions.

Sydney Roach is a reporter and host for WPSU with a passion for radio and community stories.