The Canadian fires continue to burn and will send smoke over New York City and the East Coast throughout the summer as experts warn firefighting operations could last into September.
Canada is experiencing its worst fire season on record with firefighters coming from all over the country to help.
As of Sunday afternoon, there were more than 568 active fires in Canada, 281 of which are classified as “out of control,” the Canadian Agency’s Forest Fire Center (CIFFC) reported.
David Roth, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Center for Weather Prediction said msn that Americans will continue to be at risk of more smoky days until the fires are “completely out,” and those closer to the border will feel it the most.
Meanwhile, Karine Pelletier of SOPFEU, Quebec’s forest firefighting agency, told CBS New York that barring many periods of heavy rain, the agency expects firefighting operations to last through September.
Firefighters fly over a controlled burn to combat forest fires in the Canadian province of Quebec that took place on June 6.
Smoke and haze fill the skies over New York as people are seen walking and riding mopeds on the Brooklyn Bridge as air quality remains poor.
Year-to-Date Chart Shows Canadian Wildfires Rising Steadily
There was a marked improvement in air quality on Sunday due, in part, to an SSE wind, CBS New York reported.
Bruce MacNab, head of Natural Resources Canada’s Wildfire Information Systems, predicts the fires will continue for “a few weeks.”
“It would take large rain events to stop them completely,” he said.
Isaac Sanchez, communications battalion chief at Cal Fire, California’s firefighting agency, told the news outlet that each “individual fire is its own event.”
It has its own behavior. We cannot attack them in exactly the same way,” she said.
As the fires burn, air quality remains problematic, especially for those with asthma and other respiratory illnesses.
Millions of Americans will have to prepare for more extreme smoke days. Although no one really knows how long the smoke will last, the direction the wind is blowing can mitigate these factors.
The Canadian fires are burning in the boreal forest where there is a large expanse of land, deciduous and coniferous trees. This type of forest has several trees densely packed. When a fire starts, it burns at a higher intensity.
Jain, a research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, told CBS that these boreal forests contain peat, which can slow down fires if it’s wet, but also explained that if the peat is dry, it can burn underground and spread fires further. far.
Weather is an important factor as high temperatures can fuel a fire and the wind can help spread them. While snow and rain help to extinguish the flames, and the topography of the area, as most fires tend to burn uphill.
Fires thrive on fuel, oxygen, and warmer temperatures. They also burn at their own speed and duration, taking weeks or even months to resolve, making it hard to predict when this will all end.
In this aerial view taken from Air Force One, the US Capitol is seen under a hazy sky in Washington, DC
A freighter passes the Detroit River as smoke fills the sky and reduces visibility of Windsor, Ontario today.
Images of the Empire State Building that have been impacted by the smoke of the Canadian forest fires this Friday
Washington DC had been placed in code red for air quality on Wednesday as smoke from Canadian wildfires plunged the city into the “unhealthy” category, as New York City braced for a second layer of smog.
Nearly 90 million people in the US were currently under unhealthy air quality advisories due to the ongoing fires and the DC area was headed for code red.
Poor air quality continued with smoke sweeping across the country and triggering air alerts for every state in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Delaware, and Maryland.
Parts of Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Virginia were also under advisories, with residents being advised to stay indoors when possible.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Council of Governments announced that air quality in the area would significantly worsen due to smoke and asked residents to limit outdoor activities.
Sensitive groups such as those with heart and lung disease were warned to stay indoors.
In the DC area, the US Capitol was engulfed in thick smoke from wildfires.
Last week, New York Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued warnings that the smoke that blanketed the city earlier this month will return.
Chicago also had the worst air quality in the world, for the World Air Quality Index with an AQI reading of 175, with parts of Michigan coming in higher.
The index is a measure of five common pollutants and runs on a scale of 0 to 500, with a score of more than 150 being considered “unhealthy.”
According to the index, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Chicago and Detroit are in the top ten for the worst air quality on the planet.
The New York City Department of Health urged people to take precautions as the smoke is expected to “significantly impact” air quality and warned it could reach dangerous levels.