Canadian wildfire smoke remains in Cape Region

Air quality alerts continue June 8
June 8, 2023

The Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control has issued warnings of poor air quality in Delaware.

As of Thursday morning, Sussex County is in red or unhealthy levels of 151 to 200. Much of Kent County has reached purple or very unhealthy levels of 201 to 300. New Castle County is at the highest level, exceeding 300, putting into the maroon level. 

The Division of Public Health has advised all individuals to limit prolonged or heavy physical activity and time spent outdoors and to stay indoors, preferably in a space with filtered air.  

“Right now, we need everyone to be safe, especially Delawareans with increased risk from this very unhealthy air,” said Secretary DNREC Shawn M. Garvin. “We love to get outdoors, especially here in Delaware, but today is not the day. Delawareans should spend this time indoors as much as possible.”

Wildfires in eastern Canada are emitting particulate matter into the atmosphere, affecting air quality throughout the northeast, including in Delaware. 

For those who must be outdoors, properly fitted N95 or KN95 masks help reduce exposure from particulate matter. Typical masks such as cloth or surgical will not provide adequate protection from poor air quality from particulate matter. The best protection is to remain indoors in a cool and clean environment.

DPH warns that certain populations, including young children, older adults and those with lung conditions, could be more significantly impacted. While canceling outdoor events is not necessary, it is advisable to relocate indoors when possible. Individuals should make health decisions in consultation with their medical professionals and based on their own considerations. 

Other changes

Cash booths at toll plazas will be unattended. No violations will be issued.

Inspection lanes in Wilmington, Delaware City and Dover will be closed. Georgetown's lanes will remain open at this time.

All road testing in Wilmington, Delaware City and Dover is canceled for today. Customers will be contacted to reschedule. Georgetown appointments will proceed as scheduled.

DMV on the Go will not be at Big Lots in Seaford June 8, but will return Thursday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

In an email sent to parents June 8, Cape Henlopen School District officials announced that all outdoor activities for the day and evening of June 8, including any field trips and the pre-K moving-up ceremony, have been canceled due to the poor air quality and expectation that it will continue to worsen throughout the day.


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