ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — Central Pennsylvania residents are being advised to limit the time they spend outside as widespread smoke from Canada has been carrying into the region.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has issued a code red air quality alert for all of Central PA due to the widespread smoke impacting the state from forest fires across Eastern Canada.

What is a Code Red Air Quality Alert?

A code red air quality alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region are unhealthy, and the general public may experience mild health effects. Members of high-risk groups, such as those with respiratory issues, may experience more serious health effects.

Screenshot of Altoona’s AQI from

The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity and limiting your amount of time outdoors. Be sure to also keep any windows closed.

What is the Air Quality Index (AQI)?

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is used for reporting daily air quality. It tells you how clean or polluted your air is, and what associated health effects might be a concern for you. is a great site to give you a current reading on the air quality index in your region.

Where is all this smoke coming from?

The short answer is Canada.

More specifically, wildfires broke out in Eastern Canada on June 2 in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Both sit directly above the northeast United States, including Pennsylvania, and New York and stretch up over and past Maine.