Canadian wildfire smoke, haze begins to wane in DC area; Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert Friday

A Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert is in effect for the District of Columbia, Baltimore, and northern Virginia regions Friday as the thick, hazardous haze of wildfire smoke begins to move out of the area.

A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.

FOX 5’s Matthew Cappucci said the smoke and haze is beginning to wane Friday. The concentration of the smoke is mainly east of the District this morning and pushing toward the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

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The western winds should push the lingering smoke offshore by the evening and into overnight. Friday will be a transition day with the haze completely moving out by Saturday and into Sunday.

The wildfires sent plumes of fine particulate matter as far away as North Carolina and northern Europe and parked clumps of air rated unhealthy or worse over the heavily populated Eastern Seaboard earlier this week. The hazardous air forced children, older adults and people with asthma and other respiratory conditions to stay indoors. 

Thursday, the D.C. region was under a Code PURPLE Air Quality Alert. The smoky, hazy conditions closed the National Zoo, postponed the Nationals game and forced some school district to cancel outdoor activities.

As the smoke and haze move out, we can expect mild temperatures Friday with highs in the 70s and a possible isolated shower this evening. A sunny and hazy start to Saturday with temperatures int he 80s. Hot conditions Sunday with highs in the 90s.