7 June 2023
In this article…
- Air Quality Warnings Across New York
- Impact on Daily Life and Health
- Long Island’s Response to Air Quality Alert
- Canada’s Wildfire Situation
Canada’s Wildfire Smoke: An Emerging Air Quality Crisis
The wildfire smoke from Canada has become a grave concern across the United States, affecting air quality and threatening public health. Millions of Americans are under air quality advisories as the smoke continues to move southwards, creating perilous conditions that have transformed skies into scenes resembling the red planet Mars.
Air Quality Warnings Across New York
One of the areas heavily affected by the drifting smoke is New York. The smoky haze has turned Central Park into a mere shadow of its usual vibrant self, as it struggles against the current poor air conditions. As the air quality continues to deteriorate, city officials, including the Mayor, have started sounding alarms about the possible health effects. This has resulted in schools across the city, including those in Long Island, calling off outdoor activities to safeguard students.
Impact on Daily Life and Health
The impact on daily life due to the smoke is palpable. Activities like running, outdoor exercises, and even walking have become not just challenging but potentially hazardous. There is a distinct smell of campfire in the air, familiar to those who’ve experienced wildfires in the West Coast. Even the Hudson River, usually a clear sight, is now concealed by the dense smoke.
Long Island’s Response to Air Quality Alert
The haze and smoke from the Canadian wildfires have also enveloped Long Island, prompting an extension of the air quality alert through Thursday. Long Island residents are advised to reduce outdoor activities, especially those who are vulnerable, such as children and the elderly.
(Local Long Island Wise Guy @longislandwiseguy shows the full extent of the Air Quality Issues facing Long Islanders)
The severity of the situation has led to the cancellation of many school sports and outdoor activities across Long Island. Even the Farmingdale lacrosse team, which had been practicing indoors at the Kaz Gungor Sports Complex, saw their state semifinal game in Albany canceled due to the dangerous air quality.
Even people without preexisting conditions could experience symptoms such as eye irritation, difficulty breathing, coughing, and sneezing. Allergist Dr. Raphael Strauss advises, “Stay indoors, if you can stay indoors in air conditions, it is going to make a huge difference.” In response, some Long Islanders are donning masks for protection, while others are limiting their outdoor exposure to essential activities only.
Canada’s Wildfire Situation
Canada is grappling with massive wildfires, which have already consumed over 9 million acres of land. The fires’ intensity and scale are such that the smoke produced is beyond what the wind can disperse, leading to the enduring smoke issue impacting the U.S.