Smoke from wildfires in Canada shrouds New York and the East Coast

Download smartphone apps to track your air quality index. Buy some air purifiers. Put on this KN95 mask. Just because you don’t see a threat doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

West Coasters who have long lived in the danger of wildfires shared some words of wisdom with their East Coast counterparts on Wednesday as East Coasters faced another dizzying day of hazy skies amid wildfire smoke and air pollution. burning in Canada.

Tens of millions of Americans were air quality warningsextending from parts of western Missouri to New York City, from Maine to South Carolina, where particulate levels are expected to hit unhealthy territory, and many residents have experienced the scratchy throat and eye and lung irritation that wildfire smoke can cause.

By noon IQAir World Air Quality Index ranked #1 in New York. Ranked #1 for the worst air quality on the planet for the second consecutive day, ahead of global cities such as New Delhi where such conditions are more common.

New York’s air quality index continued to deteriorate throughout the day, climbing from under 200 to over 400 by evening, according to AirNow.gov, which offers real-time AQI tracking. New York City Mayor Eric Adams said the air quality index reached 484 at 5 p.m., “the highest level of our knowledge since the 60s.”

Values ​​of 301 or higher are considered hazardous, the level at which the EPA warns that everyone is more likely to be affected, triggering a health emergency alert.

Conditions were forecast to worsen on Thursday, with a delay expected on Friday, but Adams warned that the situation is changing daily.

“The predictability of smoke at this distance is low,” he said. “At the moment, we are unable to provide more than a day’s worth of recommendations.”

He continued to advise vulnerable residents, including older New Yorkers, those with heart and respiratory problems, and children, to stay at home and wear high-quality masks if they need to go outside.

Gov. Kathy Hochul said approximately 1 million N95-style masks will be made available at state-owned facilities.

NY public schools that were opened According to Adams, on Wednesday and the closure of the students in the premises, Thursday will be closed due to the previously scheduled closure.

Beaches will remain closed due to poor visibility and other outdoor activities in the city will also be cancelled, he said, adding that drivers have been urged to be careful on the roads.

“Our city is strong and resilient,” Adams said. “We have faced the crisis before and we will overcome it together.”

Wanted on Wednesday warned residents across the state that the situation was a “crisis” that could last several days.

“This is a typical West Coast phenomenon,” she said, emphasizing that people need to stay at home whenever possible.

The sky in New York was getting more ominous and dark during the day smoke enveloped most of the cityenveloping the five districts in a deep orange glow and disrupting activities ranging from professional sports to theater.

Wednesday evening MLB game between The New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox were delayed one night after the teams met under ashy skies. Another MLB game – this time in Philadelphia. between the Phillies and the Detroit Tigers – was also postponed, as well as WNBA game between New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx.

A Broadway production of Hamilton as well as the performance of “Camelot” at Lincoln Center in New York were cancelled. The first two performances of “Free Shakespeare in the Park” in the production of “Hamlet”, which takes place in Central Park, were canceled on Thursday and Friday.

Federal Aviation Administration — said on Twitter on Wednesday afternoon. that it slowed traffic to and from New York airports “because of reduced visibility due to wildfire smoke”. The agency said the Philadelphia airport was also shut down.

New Yorkers said the campfire-like smoke smell was so strong that they couldn’t go outside without coughing and burning their eyes. Many wore masks as they toured neighborhoods and shared photos of ashen skies from landmarks across the city.

Other parts of the state — and the country — have also been hit by dangerous AQI levels. At Binghamton, where 400 AQIs were recorded before noon, visibility was reduced to one mile.

In Washington, a haze descended on the National Mall, and the city was under the “red code”, triggered when the AQI is over 150 and vulnerable groups are at particular risk. Parts of Pennsylvania, where its most populous city, Philadelphia, was also coded red, and New Jersey also had an AQI of over 400.

The smoke covering the east coast has shifted southward from Canada. where nearly 250 active wildfires are burning forests around eastern Quebec.. High temperatures and dry weather, along with lightning, have caused fires, which swelled over the weekend.

According to John Cristantello, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in New York, the low pressure area over northern New England is directing the airflow.

“The weather conditions are such that the winds just keep blowing down, mostly from north to south,” Cristantello said. “We’re sort of a target for the smoke coming from these fires.”

weather service said the low-pressure system could change this weekend, but warned that “as long as the fires continue, the smoke may just be heading to other areas of the US.”

On social media, New Yorkers have posted pictures of their otherworldly city dyed deep orange, blood red sunrises and sunsets. reminiscent of the sky over Northern California in 2020 when the smoke is off various fires engulfed the region.

Sherella Johnson, a Riverside copywriter, was reminded by the smoky orange scenes from New York 2020 Eldorado Firecaused by poor sex determination.

“[California] the season of forest fires has passed. We have it every year, but it’s not that bad everywhere,” Johnson said, adding that the Eldorado fire was especially scary and seemed like uncharted territory even to the most experienced. So Johnson shared tips on Twitter, including advising car owners and homeowners to replace their air filters—now and after the fires.

“They’re doing the hard work right now and you want them to be efficient” Johnson said. Other tips included closing windows, downloading smartphone apps that measure AQI, and keeping your pets hydrated.

S. E. Smith, a Northern California writer and journalist, warned East Coasters against not taking action to prepare.

“Wildfire smoke doesn’t have to be visible to damage your lungs” Smith wrote on Twitter. “Wear a mask, use an air purifier and stay at home if possible. If you’re feeling tired, irritable, or out of sorts, you’re probably smelling smoke!”

Some note the indifference of some New Yorkers to the constant threat West Coasters face each year from wildfires until they knock on their own doors.

“It’s hard not to notice how wildfire smoke suddenly became very important when New Yorkers encountered it.” Seattle-based writer Carl Bode wrote about this on Twitter.. “Seattle looked like … mordor for a few years, and I remember most New York branchlords yawned a lot.”

Others said the issue has also become another coastal competition. “Why are New York and California bickering over who has more wildfire smoke?” one of the twitter users wrote.