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Canada wildfire could impact Philadelphia area: check out smoke map

NEXT Weather: Tracking smoky, hazy skies
NEXT Weather: Tracking smoky, hazy skies 02:03

UPDATE JUNE 2, 2023: Smoke from Bass River State Forest fire leads to air quality alerts in Delaware, New Jersey

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Smoke from the raging Tantallon wildfire burning in Nova Scotia, Canada has led to an air quality alert in our region for sensitive groups Wednesday.

Smoke is still over the region Thursday and reducing air quality, but there are no alerts.

Delaware is under an air quality alert due to the Allen Road wildfire that burned in New Jersey's Bass River State Forest.

While healthy people need not worry, the alert means some smoke is mixing into the air here, leading to unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups like the elderly and people with respiratory issues. People in those groups are recommended to limit their time outside breathing in those particles today.


We are monitoring the situation and will keep you updated. Here's what we know about the path of the smoke right now.

Why do I smell smoke in the air? Where is the smoke near me coming from?

The smoke comes from wildfires including the Tantallon fire in the Halifax Regional Municipality in the Nova Scotia province of Canada. According to the Nova Scotia government, more than 40,000 acres have been burned in the largest fire. Thousands of people have been displaced.

Nova Scotia sits to our northeast, up past the state of Maine

It's a little over 600 miles as the crow flies from Philadelphia.

How long is the smoke staying? When will the smoke go away?

The smoke and haze will likely sit overhead throughout Wednesday and into Thursday.

Thursday morning there will still be haze in the sky and smoke on the surface, but this will be mixing with fresh air through the next few days and will begin clearing out.

The fire is still burning and producing smoke today, but that is being carried out to the east today.

What are the potential impacts of the Halifax wildfire smoke?

An Air Quality Alert has been issued for the entire area for the threat of reduced air quality Wednesday.

A Code Orange was in effect through the day on Wednesday which means that air pollution concentrations may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. These groups include children, elderly, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases. The effects of poor air quality can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.

The air quality scale is a six-point scale - this is a 3 out of 6.

In addition to hazy skies and the potential for poor air quality, people should also be prepared for the possibility of smelling smoke. According to a public information officer in West Chester, some residents were smelling the smoke as early as Monday.

The smoke will make for brilliant sunsets Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

The wildfires are pumping a ton of smoke into the atmosphere and it could bring poor air quality to much of New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania, and northern Delaware.

Differing concentrations of smoke and haze will drift from east to west through the day Wednesday. While most of the smoke will remain suspended well above the ground, there is the possibility that some of the smoke could mix down to the ground causing a concern for reduced air quality across the region. 


What was the path of the smoke from this fire?

Tuesday morning, a small portion of the smoke impacted views of the sunrise along the Jersey Shore.

Then wind carried the plume of smoke toward our region Tuesday night and that smoke lingered into the morning.

Wednesday, the smoke was blowing east.

Smoke from the Tantallon wildfire in Nova Scotia, Canada is going to bring smoke over the Philadelphia region. CBS News Philadelphia

You likely saw a hazy sunset Tuesday and Wednesday nights due to the smoke.

Smoke from wildfires burning in Nova Scotia, Canada could drift down to the Philadelphia region Tuesday night. This is a projection of where it could be around 7 p.m. CBS News Philadelphia

Wednesday, the smoke could drift farther west into the Philadelphia suburbs and Lehigh Valley.

The plume could keep hovering over our area through Wednesday and into Wednesday night due to that east wind and a pesky low-pressure front (check out those swirling winds in the bottom-right of this graphic).

This is a projection of where wildfire smoke could be around 9 p.m. Wednesday. CBS News Philadelphia

We already had hazy skies from Canadian wildfires. What's going on?

This is a separate wildfire than the fires that caused hazy skies for us last week.

Last week, the Philadelphia region saw hazy sunsets due to smoke that drifted down from wildfires in Alberta, Canada, over 2,000 miles away.

That smoke was carried high in the atmosphere, so there were no air quality concerns for us down here on the ground.

Those fires led to air quality warnings in Denver and Minneapolis.

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