The smokey haze over Warren County as seen from Third Avenue and Liberty Street on June 7, 2023. Photo by Andy Close.

Haze Over Warren County as Wildfire Smoke Drifts Into the Region from Canada

June 7, 2023

WARREN, Pa. – There was a haze over Warren County as the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a Code Red Air Quality alert for all of central Pennsylvania on Wednesday due to wildfire smoke from Canada.

“A Code RED Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region are unhealthy, and the general public may experience mild health effects. Members of sensitive groups may experience more serious health effects,” the National Weather Service said. “The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.”

The alert remains in effect for Warren County until 10 p.m. Wednesday. As of 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, some portions of the county-mostly the eastern half-were in the red, while the rest of the county fell into the orange on the airnow.gov interactive air quality map.

Screenshot of airnow.gov interactive map.

A gray haze hovered over the county for most of the day, along with a smokey “campfire” smell.

The smokey haze over Warren County was seen looking down Liberty Street on June 7, 2023. Photo by Andy Close.

In a social media post, the Warren County School District said it would be monitoring the Air Quality Index to determine whether scheduled outdoor events at WCSD schools would proceed or be modified for the rest of the week. As of 4:15 p.m. on June 7, school is still in session for Thursday, June 8.

“Since wildfire smoke may pose health concerns to certain populations, the Warren County School District is following the recommendations based on air quality data provided by AirNow, the official U.S. Air Quality Index (AQI),” the district said. “The district and its schools will be following the recommendations based on the AQI through the remainder of the school year. Be aware that conditions may be different in different parts of the county.”

Those guidelines can be found here.

According to a report from the CBC, there are currently 149 wildfires burning in Quebec Province, “most of them out of control.” The fires had burned 460,000 hectares (or 1,136,200 acres) and more than 11,000 people had been evacuated.

U.S. President Joe Biden tweeted on Wednesday that 600 firefighters had been deployed to assist the 670 already on the ground in Quebec.

https://twitter.com/POTUS/status/1666545045791555585

While the effects across Warren County were relatively minor, they were more severe across the eastern U.S.

https://twitter.com/NWSNewYorkNY/status/1666517725865459713?s=20

The MLB game scheduled in Philadelphia between the Phillies and Detroit Tigers was postponed “due to the air quality in Philadelphia,” the Phillies said in a statement.

The conditions at Citi Field in New York were eerily similar to those experienced by Warren native Allie Morrison in San Francisco in September 2020.

If you have photos or videos of the smoke/haze around Warren and Forest Counties, share them with us (they may be used in a future story) on our Facebook page or via email at [email protected]

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