Cops, Courts and Fire

Wildfire Smoke Causes Local 9-1-1 Calls

The smoke condition caused numerous calls to 9-1-1.

File photo.

The smoke that blanketed the region starting Monday evening and caused a strong smell of burning wood beginning Tuesday evening led to numerous calls to Bucks County’s 9-1-1 center.

Audrey Kenny, the county’s director of emergency services, told the 9-1-1 center received 125 fire investigation calls over the past two days. A total of 121 of them were attributed to the smoke condition caused by wildfires in Canada.

Bucks County fire company and police officials have said a large number of calls came in Tuesday evening as the thick smoke settled into the area.

Some fire companies and police departments posted on social media to advise people of the smoke conditions.

“To all of our township residents and neighbors, our area is currently being impacted by the smoke from the Canadian wildfires. Unless you feel there is a true danger or emergency, please do not call 911. We are monitoring the situation closely, thank you for your cooperation,” the Upper Makefield Volunteer Fire Company said.

“Please investigate prior to calling 9-1-1 to report smoke or the odor of burning,” the Bucks County Fire Marshal’s Office posted on Facebook.

Officials in Montgomery County and Hunterdon County, New Jersey reported similar smoke-related calls. The New Jersey officials asked people to not call 9-1-1 to report smoky or hazy conditions.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter on Wednesday due to the smoke.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the smoke caused by wildfires in eastern Canada is expected to contribute to higher concentrations of fine particulate matter on Wednesday, placing the air quality in the Code Orange range.

Individuals most susceptible to the effects of air pollution, such as young children, the elderly, and those with respiratory conditions like asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis, are urged to limit their outdoor activities on Wednesday, officials said.

Millions of people have been impacted by air quality warnings in the U.S. and Canada.

Capital Weather Gang, a weather observation account operated by The Washington Post,  pointed out Tuesday evening that the air quality in Detroit, New York, and Toronto is ranked among the worst in the world due to the smoke.

About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for 12 years for both newspaper and online publications. Tom’s reporting has appeared locally, nationally, and internationally across several mediums. He is proud to report on news in the county where he lives and to have created a reliable publication that the community deserves.