PHILADELPHIA — Tonight's Major League Baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Detroit Tigers, which had been set for 6:40 p.m. at Citizens Bank Park, has been postponed due to the poor air quality in Pennsylvania resulting from Canadian wildfires.
Earlier today, Pennsylvania's air quality forecast had been upgraded to Code Red by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection as hazardous smoke from the ongoing wildfires in Eastern Canada lingered in the area.
The Phillies-Tigers game will be played at 6:05 p.m. Thursday, according to Major League Baseball. Both teams had been previously scheduled to be off that day.
Environmental experts in Pennsylvania said the unhealthy air quality levels have not been this high in two decades.
"This is an abnormal pattern," said National Weather Service Meteorologist Jonathan Guseman. "It's been 20 or so years since we've seen air quality issues like this from fires in Eastern Canada."
Under the DEP's code red classification, the air quality has reached unhealthy levels for not only sensitive groups such as children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems, but also for the general public who expose themselves to the polluted air.
The code red category is the 3rd highest on the DEP's air quality classification.
“Even short-term exposure causes people to have angina and heart attacks," said Kevin Stewart, Director of Environmental Health with the American Lung Association. "When we’re having prolonged periods of exposure in the outdoors for extended periods of time then they are more likely to have those episodes.”