Air Quality In Chesco Thursday Night: Unhealthy

CHESTER COUNTY, PA —Smoke was still in the air in Chester County Thursday night, and it is not expected to be gone Friday, forecasters predict.

The county’s Air Pollution Index remained “unhealthy” Thursday night as the smoke lingered. The air quality was “very unhealthy” at noon and at a “hazardous” level in the early morning.

The air quality recovery is expected to continue into the weekend.

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The Air Pollution Index was at 170 at 8 p.m., a much-improved range from early in the morning, when the index was over 300.

Late Thursday afternoon, the sun was shining and the bright orange skies were nearly gone, but the air was still thick in Chester County.

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What’s next?

Thursday night the Air Now Index provided by the federal Environmental Protection Agency predicted unhealthy conditions Friday for sensitive groups, which include people with heart or lung disease, older adults, children, and teens.

As a result, everyone is asked to shorten the amount of time outdoors and reduce strenuous activities.

Schools are not canceled, but outdoor activities are expected to be limited.

Forecasters predict the air quality will improve on Saturday to moderate.

Thursday update

There was no early morning rush-hour or 5 p.m. traffic with commuters on Routes 202 and 422, the Pennsylvania Turnpike at Valley Forge, or the other roadways.

Valley Forge National Park, which typically has walkers, bikers, and runners on the trails and around the National Memorial Arch, was empty.

Due to the hazardous conditions, all outdoor programs were canceled.

Shoppers were stocking up in preparation for staying home for the remainder of the day.

Why is the air still bad?

The smoke from the wildfires over eastern Canada causes unhealthy air quality in Pennsylvania, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Agency.

This is reminiscent of what unfolded in early July 2002, when forest fires in a similar region of Canada impacted Chester County.

What to do if you feel faint?

If you experience symptoms like trouble breathing or dizziness, seek medical attention.

If you know a family member or neighbor has special conditions, you should check on them to see if they need medical help.

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