New York City has the worst air in the world as smoke from Canadian wildfires rolls in
Baku, June 8, AZERTAC
The smoke from ferocious Canadian wildfires cast a sickly pall over much of the eastern U.S. today, worsening air quality for millions of people, according to NBC News. The air was acrid, skylines looked orange, and municipal officials told people to stay indoors. The National Weather Service does not expect things will get much better tomorrow.
About 128 million people were under air quality alerts because of wildfire smoke and ozone in the U.S. on Wednesday night. For smoke alone, around 100 million were under alerts across 16 states.
After a day of orange haze that cast a pall over New York City, obscuring some of the nation’s best-known landmarks with smoke from Canadian wildfires, New Yorkers and others were in store for another day of bad air Thursday.
The smoke in major metro areas, including Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., was expected to continue through Thursday and cause air unhealthy for all groups, the National Weather Service said.
Air quality advisories were in place for all five boroughs of the city of more than 8 million people, and Mayor Eric Adams called the situation unprecedented.
President Joe Biden offered additional firefighting support to Canada to help suppress the blazes burning across the country.
Biden directed all available federal firefighting assets to assist with the effort, according to a readout of his call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday.
The U.S. has deployed more than 600 firefighters and support personnel, as well as other resources, to assist with the fires, according to the readout.
More than 400 fires are burning in Canada, 252 of which are out of control, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the wildfire smoke affecting most of her state “a health and environmental crisis” Wednesday, and she urged residents to take it seriously.
The smoke blanketing major metro areas, including New York City, was expected to create dangerous air through Thursday, according to the National Weather Service.
Hochul said that normally the Air Quality Index is around 50 and that Brooklyn measured 413 and Queens 407 on Wednesday.
“Simply stay indoors. Outdoors is dangerous in just about every part of our state,” Hochul said at a news conference. “Not just vulnerable communities, but literally everyone.”