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Canadian wildfire smoke puts PA, NJ, DE under air quality alerts again. Here are latest maps of smoke's path

NEXT Weather: Less smoke and haze on Friday
NEXT Weather: Less smoke and haze on Friday 02:27

LATEST: Air quality slowly improving in PA, NJ, DE

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Smoke from Canadian wildfires has once again put our region under air quality alerts Thursday.

The entire state of Pennsylvania was under a Code Red for air quality, and Philadelphia awoke to an air quality index in that range. In Delaware, the entire state was under a Code Red, while it was a Code Orange in New Jersey.

This map shows the smoke path around 9:30 a.m. Thursday - the heaviest smoke is in darker shades of orange while the light blues are the lightest. The thickest smoke is avoiding our region. CBS News Philadelphia

The smoke should dissipate this evening as a seabreeze moves inland and then a south wind picks up. Friday should stay dry as well but will turn more humid with highs in the upper 80s.

But the farther west you go, the more the smoke picks up. New Jersey and southern Delaware are seeing less than our northern and western suburbs which are seeing limited visibility.

Region wakes up to air quality alerts due to Canadian wildfire smoke 02:48

Officials recommend checking to see the latest air quality reports near you if you need to head out.

At 30th Street Station early Thursday morning, we spoke to a traveler who was masked up.

"I have asthma, and I'm kind of wheezing today," she said. "I have the mask on so I can protect myself and hopefully to feel a little better."

This round of smoke is not expected to be nearly as bad as it was earlier in June, when "hazardous" air quality in Philadelphia led to the city having the worst AQI ratings in the world for a time.

Wednesday night, the smoke was visible and partially obscured the city's skyline.

The Philadelphia skyline is obscured due to smoke from the Canadian wildfires Wednesday, June 28, 2023. The region awoke to air quality alerts again on June 29. CBS News Philadelphia

Friday's air quality looks better in PA, NJ, DE. Maps show where Canadian wildfire smoke is moving

A map of Canadian wildfire smoke on Thursday, June 29, 2023. Orange is the heaviest smoke and light blue is the lightest. CBS News Philadelphia
The heavy smoke looks to be mostly cleared out from our area by Friday night. CBS News Philadelphia

Some haze may linger into the morning hours, but conditions should improve through the afternoon Friday.

Pennsylvania under Code Red air quality alert due to wildfire smoke 01:36

Where to get a free KN95 mask in Philadelphia to deal with smoke

The city is giving away free KN95 masks at four of its five resource hubs Thursday - as well as at Philadelphia police and fire stations.

The Enon resource hub is closed this week and will not be giving out masks.

Philadelphia closes public pools due to low air quality

Summer camps in the city are moving indoors today, and Philadelphia public pools are closed.

What to do in an air quality Code Red

Under a Code Red, the air is considered unhealthy for the general public and residents are urged to limit their time outside and avoid strenuous activity.

Taking a walk might be OK, but it's not the best day for a long run. Shortening the amount of time you spend outside is recommended.

If you start feeling lightheaded or have respiratory symptoms, move inside.

CBS News Philadelphia

Sensitive groups - meaning older people, children and people with breathing problems are likely to be most affected by these air alerts, and in areas with a Code Red, these groups should avoid time outside altogether.

Under a Code Orange, those sensitive groups can still feel effects but the general public may not.

Wearing a mask is also recommended and sensitive groups should take further precautions if necessary. Running the air conditioner or an air purifier may help if you are feeling the effects of the smoke.

Why is this happening? Where else in the country is affected by Canadian wildfire smoke?

This is all happening as Canada is on track for its worst wildfire season in nearly 30 years, with maps showing more than 250 "out of control" blazes burning across the country. Our region has faced the most impacts from fires burning in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario - the smoke has carried on the wind and traveled hundreds of miles before coming down to surface level.

Nearly 3,000 fires since the beginning of 2023 have burned more than 19 million acres of forest in Canada.

Out in Pittsburgh and other areas in western and west-central Pennsylvania, air quality was "very unhealthy" Thursday morning, according to

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