Philadelphia is now considered to have the worst air quality out of any major metropolitan area in the United States, according to

As wildfires continue to burn in Canada the smoke continues to spread over the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. As of Wednesday morning, Philadelphia officials issued a code red air alert for the rest of the day.

Some members of the public may experience health effects and some members of sensitive groups may experience serious health effects.

It all stems from wildfires spreading across the northeast turning skies gray and forcing people to stay inside.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says those hazy skies, reduced visibility and the odor of burning wood that you’re smelling as well as the smoke will linger for a few days in northern states.

The smoke got worse Tuesday night for the Philadelphia area and now officials are warning residents to avoid unnecessary exposure to the smoke and avoid activities that would increase the amount of particles in the air.

A code red air quality alert is in effect for the area for the rest of the day. This means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for certain groups, especially those with respiratory problems like asthma, emphysema and bronchitis. Young children and the elderly are also very susceptible to the effects of poor air quality levels.

The health department is recommending you do the following to keep yourself and your family safe:

-Avoid going outdoors as much as possible

-If you go outside, avoid excessive activity, such as jogging or running

-Recirculate air with fans to avoid bringing more air pollution into your home

-Close all windows and doors to minimize air pollution in your home

-Avoid areas of high congestion (e.g., main streets or highway)

-People with underlying illnesses should monitor for symptoms

If any of these symptoms occur, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible.

If you’re in need of a high quality mask, you can get one for free at one of the city’s five resource hubs. Find a location near you: