Latest air quality index: Canadian wildfire smoke trails as New York schools and restaurants close

Mesmerizing drone footage shows the New York skyline shrouded in an orange haze

Smoke from wildfires raging in Canada has spread further south and west, and New York and the nearby Northeast coast are getting a brief respite as pollution levels drop slightly.

The city has been shrouded in an orange haze for two days.

Pollution in New York, Washington DC and Philadelphia is still at “unhealthy” levels, but has been reduced from the “code purple” seen on Wednesday and Thursday.

Wildfire smoke is now expected to reach states as far south as Georgia and Louisiana, while moving as far west as Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Illinois.

At least 13 states have issued air quality warnings, affecting 115 million people.

Schools in New York switched to remote classes on Friday, while baseball games were postponed and many restaurants closed as smoke billowed from Canada’s devastating wildfires.

More than 400 wildfires have forced evacuations in the province of Quebec.

With 6.7 million acres already burned, Canadian officials warn this could be the country’s worst wildfire season.

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Air quality in New York improves as schools and restaurants close

After two days of orange smog blanketing New York, the Big Apple’s air quality index has improved significantly for now.

NYC’s current status was downgraded from “hazardous” to “unhealthy for sensitive groups” on Wednesday as smoke from Canadian wildfires spread further south and west.

The changes may be temporary as hundreds of wildfires in Quebec send plumes of smoke toward the northeast coast, but for now the air in the city has been cleaner since Monday.

Fog and smog continued to hang over Manhattan skies Thursday evening

(Reuters)

Kudos to Mishra9 Jun 2023 06:50

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Smoke forecast for Friday

The smoke forecast for Friday calls for gray plumes from Canadian wildfires to spread south and move west, bringing “moderate and unhealthy air quality” to large parts of the Midwest and southern states.

Yellow and orange levels of pollution are set to cover parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas and Illinois, according to maps on the EPA’s AirNow website.

The forecast shows smoke bringing code yellow and orange warnings for parts of the South and Midwest

(Screengrab/AirNow)

However, the wind is moving heavy plumes of smog away from New York, improving air quality slightly, but experts say it will take time for the pollutants to clear.

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 10:38

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Smoke is moving south, covering the Midwest and the Ohio Valley

The National Weather Service (NWS) said smoke from wildfires raging in Canada is moving south, covering large parts of the Midwest and bringing “moderate to unhealthy air quality.”

“Smoke from Canadian wildfires is being carried southward into the United States by winds, resulting in moderate to unhealthy air quality across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley and Midwest on Friday. Some improvement is expected this weekend,” the NWS said in a tweet.

Wind movement has brought some relief to New York City and parts of the Northeast coast. However, experts said the pollutants are still in the atmosphere and it may take time to get rid of it.

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 10:00

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Where do wildfires burn in Canada?

More than 400 wildfires are burning across Canada, causing mass evacuations, fire damage and smoky conditions across the US East Coast.

The range from 233 “out of control” wildfires to 114 “in-control” fires is unprecedented, even in a typical Canadian wildfire season.

My colleague Arianna Baio says of where wildfires are burning in Canada:

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New York Public Schools Move to Distance Learning

Public schools in New York have shifted classes to distance learning from the Friday session.

“To schools serving grades 9-12 and 6-12 in districts 1-32 and 79: Students and staff at these schools were scheduled to return to school on June 9 as we transition to remote instruction,” NYC Public Schools tweeted. .

“Additional guidance to instructional staff will be forthcoming,” they added.

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 09:30

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Can you taste forest fire smoke?

While almost everyone can smell wildfire smoke, few can taste it — according to Kathryn Mettler, professor of biological sciences at the University at Buffalo.

“There is a wide range in the number of taste buds on our tongue,” Ms Medler said. “Children and some adults tend to be more prone, and as a result, they may have more sensitive plates.”

For those who can taste smoke particles, it may taste charred or cigar-like.

People can test for themselves by sticking their nose and seeing if the taste is still there.

Ariana Payo9 June 2023 09:00

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Biden sends firefighters to support Canada in wildfire battle

President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that he is sending more than 600 U.S. firefighters and support personnel with equipment to help fight more than 400 wildfires in Canada.

“Forest fires are intensifying due to the climate crisis,” the President noted.

He also advised Americans who experience dangerous air pollution, especially those with health conditions, to take steps to protect themselves.

Ariana Payo9 June 2023 08:30

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ICYMI: New York restaurants closed amid smog

Restaurants in New York City are temporarily closed due to smoke from Canadian wildfires.

Dense smog enveloped the city on Wednesday resulting in a “hazardous” air quality index. People were encouraged to stay indoors as much as possible and wear masks when walking outside.

“It seemed like a no-brainer for our staff,” said Stephanie Watanabe, co-owner of Coast and Valley. Crabstreet.

Many coffee shops and cafes in Brooklyn were closed earlier than usual because of the smoke, and they were closed on Thursday.

Other restaurants followed suit, hoping to keep their employees safe.

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 08:10

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Code Red, Purple and Orange What is air quality?

The Air Quality Index (AQI), provided on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website, uses a color-coded system to rate air quality on a 500-point scale. surrounding air.

The lower end of the scale, in green, indicates healthy air, while yellow indicates moderate levels of pollution. The higher nodes, color-coded orange, red, and purple, represent unhealthy and dangerous conditions for all individuals.

The AQI takes into account some key measures of air pollution, such as particulate pollution, ground-level ozone, and gases such as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Wildfire smoke from Canada has increased these dangerous gases in the atmosphere, especially fine particulate matter pollutants called PM2.5.

These pollutants can cause a variety of health effects, often leading to respiratory system irritation, inflammation and the potential development of conditions such as asthma and heart disease.

This map from AirNow shows the various levels of alerts and the corresponding color codes.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) is provided on the Environmental Protection Agency’s AirNow website

(Screengrab/AirNow)

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 07:40

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Washington DC air quality remains in the red but is expected to improve

Air quality in the US capital remained at “code red” early Friday, after being downgraded from “hazardous” levels in the purple category on Thursday evening.

AQI levels are close to 150, which is unhealthy for people, especially vulnerable people.

Air quality is expected to improve slightly and reach the orange index, which is still unhealthy for those at risk.

Smoke from wildfires raging in Canada is drifting further south and west, worsening the air for many cities but providing some relief for the Northeast coast.

The Washington Monument stands in a haze of smoke Thursday

(Getty Images)

Kudos to Mishra9 June 2023 07:20

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