WESTFIELD - The New Jersey DEP has issued a "code orange" air quality alert for much of the Garden State, meaning residents who fall within certain categories need to be extra careful.

Conditions under the alert are unsafe especially for kids, the elderly or anyone with asthma. Individuals with pulmonary or cardiac concerns are also urged to exercise caution.

The alert means escalating heat has caused higher, unhealthy concentrations of air pollution.

Dr. Rayshma Ali from the Raritan Bay Medical Center ER says residents who are sensitive to air quality should limit what they do.

"Everyone needs to take some precautions. Stay hydrated, wear light clothing," Ali says.