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Smoke disperses, people head outside

People across our area are beginning to breathe a sigh of relief as the Canadian wildfire smoke is making its way out.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — It's a sight you wouldn't have seen 24 hours ago. People enjoying lunch outside and bringing their kids to the playground at Kirby Park in Wilkes-Barre.

 All of those activities were put on pause due to dangerous air quality levels.  

"I was like, 'Oh, it's much better we can come out!'" said Karen Tashkandi of Wilkes-Barre. 

"I want to say it's 90% better air quality; you don't smell the smoke," said Alissa Skorupa of Shavertown. 

Skorupa brought her 2-year-old daughter to Kirby Park, an activity she says they've missed. 

"We've been inside for the past few days trying to keep her entertained without destroying the house, so today was the better of the three days just to get her outside to get some of that energy out," explained Skorupa

 The view from Nesbitt Park in Kingston on Wednesday afternoon showed a thick orange haze as far as the eye could see. On Thursday, the smoke has moved out, leaving a clear view across the Susquehanna River as bikers and walkers rejoice.

"It's finally blue, I can see patches of blue everywhere, which made me get out of the house. I love to walk along the dike, and just seeing the sky again was a definite motivator," said Cecilia Galante of Kingston. 

People at the parks tell Newswatch 16 they're excited to see blue skies but still worry for the people dealing with the fires in Canada. 

"Yesterday was really bad, we looked out the window and just felt so sad that this was happening to the Canadians, so how must they feel if we feel like this," said Tashkandi. 

"It does give you pause because you realize the atmosphere is becoming weaker and weaker, which is allowing these incredible billows of smoke to break through and travel such an incredible distance. It's alarming," said Galante. 

For more information on the air quality in your area, click HERE.

Check the latest Stormtracker 16 forecast HERE.

Information from the state DEP about air quality is posted HERE.

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