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Code Orange Air Quality Action Day issued for western Pa. due to smoke from wildfires in Canada

WTAE Pittsburgh logo WTAE Pittsburgh 7/20/2021
a woman standing in front of water: Hazy day in Pittsburgh © WTAE Hazy day in Pittsburgh

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for most of western Pennsylvania on Tuesday.

The alert was issued for Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties. Read the full alert for your county.

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The DEP said smoke from wildfires in northern and western Canada, along with light winds, will likely contribute to daily average concentrations of fine particulate matter in the Code Orange range on Tuesday.

Thick fog was hanging around downtown Pittsburgh on Tuesday morning, as the sun tried to break through the haze. (See the video from our WTAE Action Cam in the video player below.)

The haze will linger into Tuesday night and then get mixed out Wednesday with the passage of a cold front that will trigger a few overnight showers, Certified Most Accurate meteorologist Jeff Verszyla said.

An Air Quality Action Day is issued when the air quality index is forecast to be Code Orange or higher. On an Air Quality Action Day, young children, the elderly and those with respiratory problems, such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis, are especially vulnerable to the effects of air pollution and should limit outdoor activities.

Residents and businesses within the Air Quality Action Day areas are strongly encouraged to voluntarily help reduce air pollution by:

  • Reducing or eliminating fireplace and wood stove use
  • Avoiding the open burning of leaves, trash and other materials
  • Avoiding the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment

For more information, visit DEP at www.ahs.dep.pa.gov/AQPartnersWeb, EPA's AirNow at www.airnow.gov or the Allegheny County Health Department at www.alleghenycounty.us/airquality.

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READ THE FULL STORY:Code Orange Air Quality Action Day issued for western Pa. due to smoke from wildfires in Canada

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