The smoke is back. Code Red alert as Canadian fires bring unhealthy air to South Jersey

The smoke from Canada's wildfires has started its return to South Jersey, prompting air quality alerts from state and federal agencies.

New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection said air quality was at unhealthy levels on Thursday, June 29, due to the expected presence of fine particulates.

The agency issued a Code Red alert for fine particulates throughout the day. It previously had issued a concerning, but less severe, Code Orange alert.

The National Weather Service, which issued an air quality alert, forecast hazy conditions into Friday morning.

The Code Red alert "means that the air is unhealthy to breathe, and sensitive members of the public – including those with heart or lung disease, the elderly and the young people – may experience health effects," said a notice from Camden County health officials.

“Even if you aren’t classified as a sensitive individual or have pre-existing conditions, we are still recommending for everyone to try to minimize the time they are spending outside today,” said Dr. Paschal Nwako, the county's health officer.

“So, if you had plans to participate in outdoor activities or exercise, we strongly urge you to reschedule until the conditions improve,” Nwako said.

More: When South Jersey couldn't be seen Smoke from wildfires is bad for you, you, you ... and even you

People who must be outside for more than 30 minutes should wear a high-quality face mask,” he added.

Among other precautions, people should consider cancelling outdoor events, avoid jogging or other outdoor exercises, and seek medical care if they have trouble breathing or feel nauseous, according to the county department.

For more information on concentrations of ground-level ozone and fine-particulates, visit or

Canada's wildfire smoke earlier this month prompted air quality alerts over several days in South Jersey and other areas due to wildfire smoke from burning forests in Quebec province.

This article originally appeared on Cherry Hill Courier-Post: Air quality alert today: Canadian wildfires prompt warnings in NJ