State issues air quality warning due to Canadian wildfires | Delaware First Media
Delaware Public Media

State issues air quality warning due to Canadian wildfires

Jul 21, 2021

The state has issued an air quality warning for Wednesday.

A cold front is pushing smoke from Canadian and west coast wildfires into Delaware, increasing particle concentrations.

A code orange has been issued, which means above 35.5 micrograms per cubic meter of particulate matter—considered unhealthy for sensitive groups by the EPA.

DNREC Division of Air Quality director Angela Marconi says this isn’t very common in Delaware.

“It’s not something that we’ve experienced frequently," said Marconi. "Most of the time when we have an air quality action day in Delaware it’s for ozone, which is a different pollutant. But if we continue to have these very large fires, it is something that could continue to affect us in the future.”    

         

The state has real-time monitors for air pollutants. Marconi says the last particulate matter warning came in February of 2019. The occurances of excessive ozone levels has been on the decline in Delaware for at least the last 20 years.

In a tweet, the National Weather Service at Mt. Holly says the haze should clear by 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning.

And if you’re looking to protect yourself from the smoke, those cloth masks won’t work, only N95 masks can block smoke particles