Smokes from Canada wildfire affecting air quality in some parts of U.S. Northeast

 Thursday, June 8, 2023 


Canada wildfire

The smoke from wildfires in Canada is affecting air quality in parts of the U.S. Northeast, environmental officials said, and satellite images are showing the large-scale impact of the blazes.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said on Wednesday one of its satellites showed some of the smoke being “swept up” by a swirling system.

An air quality health advisory was in effect Wednesday for much of New York, according to the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. The advisory showed air quality was “unhealthy” for the New York City metropolitan area, Eastern Lake Ontario and Central New York. It said air quality was “unhealthy for sensitive groups” in Long Island, the Lower Hudson Valley, Upper Hudson Valley and Western New York. Air quality in the Adirondacks was “moderate,” according to the advisory.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams said New Yorkers should limit outdoor activity Wednesday, adding that children, older adults and those with heart or breathing problems may be “especially sensitive and should avoid outdoor activities during this time.”

He said that it is an unprecedented event in our city, and New Yorkers must take precautions. The city leaders said the air quality has not been this bad since the 1960s, CBS News New York reported.

On Wednesday afternoon, skies in the greater New York City area were growing increasingly orange. New Jersey officials upgraded the state’s air quality alert to “unhealthy,” while the governor strongly advised residents to stay inside. He said his team was “vigilantly” monitoring the wildfires and their impact.

Air quality warnings were also in effect in Maryland, St. Louis, Philadelphia and Delaware — with effects moving further down the East Coast. The National Weather Service in Atlanta, Georgia, said reduced air quality was possible Wednesday and into the night due to smoke from the Canadian fires.

Late Wednesday night into early Thursday morning, Philadelphia had the worst air quality of any major city in the world, with and Air Quality Index of 447, CBS Philadelphia reported.

More than 100 wildfires are burning across the Canadian border in Quebec and Ottawa, with more than 9.3 million acres “charred,” The Weather Channel’s Stephanie Abrams said on “CBS Mornings” Wednesday. And the smoke that has since drifted to the U.S. “could last for a while.”

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