(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com) — The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for the entire state of Pennsylvania for Friday, June 9.
Air quality in Erie County will be in the 100 range Friday, which is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
Wednesday afternoon, the entire state of Pennsylvania was under a Code Red Air Quality Alert. Wednesday evening, the air quality in Philadelphia was at 447, which is considered hazardous. Nexstar station WPHL reported Philadelphia was considered to have the worst air quality out of any major metropolitan area in the United States on Wednesday. New York City ranked among the worst air quality in the world Tuesday.
Children, sensitive populations such as older people, those who exercise or work outdoors and those with lung or respiratory conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or bronchitis should reduce or eliminate their outdoor activities.
According to a DEP release, smoke due to wildfires in eastern Canada will likely contribute to the concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Friday. Changing weather conditions compared to earlier in the week are making conditions better.
Luckily, the weather pattern causing the poor air quality is expected to move out of Pennsylvania over the weekend.
Erie and nearly the entire state of Pennsylvania are listed in the low range for the threat of wildfires on Friday. However, Warren and McKean counties are listed in the moderate range for wildfire danger for Friday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the City of Erie has a burn ban in effect until further notice due to unusually dry weather conditions. Over the last week, Erie fire crews responded to 24 calls for brush fires.
DEP will continue to update the forecast to determine ongoing needs for Air Quality Alerts. Pennsylvanians can check airnow.gov for current conditions in their area.