New Yorkers are waking up to smog again for the second day in a row as millions of people across the Eastern Seaboard are exposed to potentially dangerous winds.
New York was listed as the third worst city for polluted air this morning, beaten only by neighbors Newark and Jersey City.
As of 5am, the Big Apple awoke to hazy skies with an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 100 – only to be placed in the ‘yellow’ category, meaning ‘risk for something’ like asthma. Newark and Jersey City are listed higher in the ‘orange’ category, both scoring 116, meaning ‘sensitive groups may experience health effects’.
Potentially dangerous winds from record-breaking wildfires moving eastward across Canada.
About 235 wildfires started burning in Canada last week, adding to the 1,183 fires that have ravaged 3,986 square kilometers of the country since April 1 this year.
Millions of people across the eastern half of America are now breathing potentially hazardous air
New Yorkers woke up Wednesday morning to hazy skies with an air quality index (AQI) of 124 – placing it in the ‘orange’ category, meaning ‘unhealthy for sensitive groups’ such as asthmatics. Photo: The Manhattan skyline seen from New Jersey on Tuesday
Smog clouds the sky above One World Trade Center on Wednesday July 19
Another snap taken Wednesday morning shows the Bronx shrouded in a yellow-ish haze, as the Big Apple feels the effects of smoke from Canadian wildfires.
Some New Yorkers wore coronavirus-style masks to protect themselves from the polluted air in the Big Apple on Wednesday
Air ranked ‘orange’ has an AQI of 101 to 150, while air in the ‘red’ category, which is ‘unhealthy’ for all, has an AQI of 151 to 200.
This comes after the West Coast also had problems. The Oregon city of Portland and Washington neighbor Vancouver were already ranked in the red at No. 168 as of Wednesday morning.
In addition to the New York City area, several other cities ranked in the orange category, including Houston, Philadelphia, PA, Greater New Castle County, DE, and Yosemite National Park, CA.
‘Fires in Canada are affecting air quality across New York State,’ the health department warned.
‘As the wildfires continue, conditions can change with wind direction and weather so check the latest air quality at airnow.gov and follow the tips below if air quality is unhealthy.’
Wildfires have already burned a record amount of land in Canada’s British Columbia province, and hotter, drier weather could worsen the situation, government officials warned.
The wildfires are responsible for at least two deaths in the province and, combined with severe drought, will affect farmers and livestock producers.
B.C.’s Emergency Management Minister Bowen Ma said at a news conference that there are currently 391 active fires in the province, more than half of which are out of control.
‘We know that the road ahead of us is long, complicated and challenging,’ said Ma.
Image: Smoke from Canadian wildfires blankets New York City on Wednesday
Smog hangs in the air over the Big Apple and many other American cities due to ongoing devastation across Canada
In addition to the New York City area, several other cities ranked in the orange category, including Albany, GA, Philadelphia, PA, Greater New Castle County, DE, and Yosemite National Park, CA.
New York’s skies turned orange last month due to the extent of wildfires in Canada. Image: The Big Apple is shrouded in smog on June 7 this year
The BC Wildfire Service website says that since April 1, 1,183 fires have burned 13,986 square kilometers (5,400 square miles).
This surpassed the previous full-year record of 13,543 square kilometers (5,228 sq mi) set in 2018.
BC Wildfire Service director of operations Cliff Chapman said the province is entering the ‘core fire season’ of July and August.
‘The models don’t look great for the rest of the summer,’ said Chapman.
‘With the amount of lightning we’ve seen in the province over the last 10 days and the drought we’re experiencing, we have a high chance of fires.’
On Monday, the BC Coroner’s Office posted a public safety bulletin saying it is investigating the death of a 9-year-old boy who died of wildfire smoke inhalation.
Pictured: Smoke from wildfires engulfs a forest in northern Canada’s Quebec province
The loss of that boy. . . I can’t imagine a worse situation for a family to go through,’ said the mother.
A 19-year-old firefighter died last week after a tree fell on him near Revelstoke, British Columbia.
Another firefighter, Adam Yadon, 25, died Saturday while battling the blaze near his home in Fort Leard, NWT.
BC’s drought bulletin shows 18 of the province’s 34 watersheds are at drought level 4, meaning ecosystem and community damage is likely. A further four are at the highest level 5, when all efforts should be made to conserve water and protect important ecological flows.
Officials are concerned about long-term drought conditions, Ma said, with potential impacts predicted for the 2024 wildfire season.
‘If we don’t get significant rainfall in the winter and spring, these reservoirs may not recharge as they would normally expect and that could mean earlier drought conditions (and) another wildfire season like we’ve seen. This year,’ she said. ‘We’re trying to assess and understand that long-term
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