Smoke from wildfires in western Canada swept across the U.S. Midwest and Northeast on Monday, blotting out blue skies and sun and blanketing dozens of cities with unhealthy air, prompting warnings to limit time spent outdoors.
This is the second time in a month that the immeasurable impact of climate change can be felt in a single breath. In June, heavy smoke from Quebec swept up the East Coast, and blew west from New York City past Washington to Minnesota.
This week, as About 900 wildfires have burned across CanadaSmoke from the fires in the western part of the country spread in a wide path into its southern neighbours.
As of 1 p.m. ET, about 71.6 million people in 29 states were affected by the smoke, migration, according to estimates based on data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the population database Landscan.
“Unfortunately, wildfires will begin to move back into the smoke zone to start the new week,” the National Weather Service in the Philadelphia area said.
Air quality warnings, ranging from moderate to very unhealthy, were issued by state agencies from Montana to the Dakotas and parts of other states including Nebraska, Alabama, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina and the Northeast.
Residents were advised to take precautions, from limiting outdoor activities to wearing face masks. In Chicago, as air quality worsened over the weekend, Mayor Brandon Johnson warned children, the elderly and those with heart or lung disease. To control external activities.
“We are well aware that the recent weather events that will significantly affect our city this summer are a direct result of the climate crisis,” he said.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul Air Quality Health Advisory issued on Sunday For Monday. Air quality in upstate New York was expected to reach unhealthy levels for all residents, while conditions in the Lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island were expected to be unhealthy only for sensitive groups.
“New Yorkers should once again prepare for smoke from wildfires in western Canada to affect our state’s air quality this week,” Ms. Hochul said in a statement, adding that officials are implementing emergency notifications on roads and public transit systems to ensure that. Masks were distributed in districts across the state.
Rochester’s air quality index was 141 early Monday morning, while Buffalo’s was 116. New York City officials said conditions considered unhealthy for sensitive groups could continue into the early part of the week.
The code runs from 0 to 500; The higher the number, the higher the level of air pollution. An AQI of 201 or higher is considered very unhealthy.
So far, air quality warnings are not as dire as they were in early June, with readings above 400 on the East Coast, indicating hazardous levels.
But as of 10 a.m. ET Monday, cities in the Midwest were reporting some of the worst air quality in the nation. Environmental Protection Agency Billings, Mont. and Fort Wayne, Ind., was 161, while the Cleveland area was 157.
The forecast is expected to result in “unhealthy for all” conditions in areas near the Canadian border. AirNowA website run by the EPA that monitors air quality across the United States.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency said its advisory will remain in effect until Monday. In the southwestern part of the state, Residents were informed Limit the use of their vehicles, avoid mowing lawns, and avoid burning firewood and household waste.
Local authorities advised residents to limit outdoor activity or use of their cars and to wear masks. Mayor Byron W. BROWN – The message from Buffalo was repeated Told the residents TO TAKE PRECAUTIONS – For Chicago, an air quality warning was in effect until Sunday night.
In Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a statewide “Code Orange” warning, urging residents and businesses to help by limiting the burning of leaves, debris and other materials and avoiding the use of gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
Wildfire smoke from Canada is forecast to linger into Tuesday, driven by northwesterly winds, the weather service said.
As early as last month, levels of particulate matter in the air from smog became unhealthy, with several US cities setting records. In spots, it can be dangerous to breathe everywhere from Minnesota and Indiana to the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions.
In cities including New York, Toronto and Cincinnati, visibility has dropped alarmingly. In some places, smoke from the fires covered the sky in orange. That smoke can be traced back to wildfires burning in Quebec.