(NEW YORK) — Hazy and dangerous fumes from ongoing Canadian wildfires have engulfed the skies over most of the northeast coast, prompting serious air quality alerts for millions of Americans.
As of Tuesday evening, 17 states have issued those alerts as the thick fumes have blocked the sky and sent people indoors to avoid breathing in the polluted air.
Canadian officials said firefighters are scrambling to put out the blazes in Quebec, where more than 160 forest fires are currently active. The fires are fueled by high temperatures and dry conditions, according to officials.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern.
Jun 07, 6:37 AM EDT
Air quality alerts issued for 13 states
Most of New England and much of the East Coast were under air quality alerts on Wednesday, with smoke from Canadian wildfires expected to reach as far south as South Carolina.
A new dose of very thick smoke was expected to drift into New York City and Philadelphia by Wednesday afternoon, lasting into the evening.
That smoke is then expected to move south into Washington, D.C., on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning.
Conditions around New York City and in the I-95 corridor could improve Thursday evening, but get worse in western New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as the winds shift.
Jun 07, 12:49 AM EDT
NYC mayor says air quality expected to ‘deteriorate further’ Wednesday
The air quality in New York City worsened Tuesday evening and is expected to “deteriorate further” Wednesday afternoon and evening, New York City Mayor Eric Adams said in a statement.
“At this point, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for all five boroughs. While conditions are anticipated to temporarily improve later tonight through tomorrow morning, they are expected to deteriorate further tomorrow afternoon and evening,” Adams said.
“Currently, we are taking precautions out of an abundance of caution to protect New Yorkers’ health until we are able to get a better sense of future air quality reports,” he said.
Adams said students should still go to school on Wednesday, but New York City public schools won’t have outdoor activities.
“These recommendations may change based on updated air quality conditions that come in, but, in the meantime, we recommend all New Yorkers to take the precautions they see fit to protect their health,” he added.
Jun 06, 10:09 PM EDT
Smoke from wildfires visible over Yankee Stadium
Smoke from wildfires from Canada was visible on Tuesday night over Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, as the Yankees played the White Sox, video obtained by ABC News shows.
Wildfires burning in Canada are continuing to create poor air quality conditions in parts of the U.S., with smoke clearly visible during Tuesday night’s Yankees-White Sox game in The Bronx. https://t.co/yhKArhnaNt pic.twitter.com/Np8mJyVKCa
— ABC News (@ABC) June 7, 2023
Jun 06, 10:01 PM EDT
New York City currently has the worst air quality in the world, data shows
New York City currently has the worst air quality than any other city on Earth, as smoke stemming from wildfires in Canada makes its way across the Northeast, according to the latest data from Swiss technology company IQAir.
The air quality index in NYC is at 196 as of Tuesday evening, followed by Doha, Qatar, and Delhi, India.
The next U.S. city on the list is Detroit, which currently places eighth, according to IQAir. Toronto, Canada, sat in ninth place as of Tuesday night.
Jun 06, 11:00 PM EDT
Who is at most risk from unhealthy air
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has specific guidance for vulnerable groups if the air quality in their area is deemed “unhealthy.”
While the agency warns that all people will experience adverse side effects from exposure to the unhealthy air, it said those with heart or lung disease, pregnant people, children and the elderly are most sensitive.
Those groups should consider moving all of their activities indoors until the air quality alert is lifted, the EPA said.
Jun 06, 11:02 PM EDT
Northeast covered in haze as forecasters warn of more smoke to come
Millions of people in New York City and other locations in the Northeast scrambled to keep themselves free of the smoky air throughout the day and evening Tuesday.
The city’s skyline was barely visible for most parts of the day, and the smell of the smoke was strong as commuters hit the evening rush.
Large cities with the lowest air quality include New York City; Albany, New York and Cincinnati, a map by Airnow, a website that publishes air quality data, shows.
Another large and dense plume of smoke will be moving down across parts of the Northeast on Wednesday, according to forecasters.
That batch of very dense smoke will push down across the Northeast throughout the day on Wednesday, giving some relief to New England and the Midwest.
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