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Deadly Heat, Smoke and Poor Air Quality Plague US - Will 4th of July Fireworks Be Canceled?

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Millions of people in 20 states are under air quality alerts as smoke from Canadian wildfires is again moving across the U.S.

Hundreds of wildfires burning out of control are creating hazy, smoky conditions from the Northeast to Alabama to the Great Lakes. Pennsylvania officials declared a code red Wednesday as smoke covered Pittsburgh.

It's a similar situation in Detroit which is experiencing some of the worst air quality in the country.

"It's like you're just sitting at a campfire all day if you're outside," said Darren Riley, JustAir CEO. 

In Chicago, the EPA labeled the air "unhealthy" and warned older people and those with respiratory conditions to stay inside.

"I mean, I run a hundred miles a week, so this is going to be dangerous today," said Chicago resident Priti Marwah.

Meanwhile, a dangerous heat wave is baking Texas and moving eastward. The scorching heat is blamed for at least 13 deaths in the Lone Star State. 

Texas officials are asking people to curb their power usage, but so far, the grid is holding up under high demand. In Dallas, officials are opening up cooling centers to help those coping with extreme temperatures.

"We know that this extreme heat can be dangerous, especially for seniors and our most vulnerable neighbors," said one official.

Now the triple-digit temperatures are spreading east to Mississippi and Tennessee.

The heat and smoke have many cities reconsidering the annual Fourth of July fireworks displays to reduce the risks of fires.

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About The Author

Wendy Griffith

Wendy Griffith is a Co-host for The 700 Club and an Anchor and Senior Reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. In addition to The 700 Club, Wendy co-anchors Christian World News, a weekly show that focuses on the triumphs and challenges of the global church. ( Wendy started her career at CBN on Capitol Hill, where she was the network’s Congressional Correspondent during the Impeachment trial of former President Bill Clinton. She then moved to the Virginia Beach headquarters in 2000 to concentrate on stories with a more