Smoke from Canadian wildfires affects residents of New York.
The smoke from intense wildfires in Canada has resulted in air quality alerts being issued in several US states. The sky over New York City has darkened rapidly, leading New York State Governor Kathy Hochul to declare it an emergency crisis. The air quality index in New York City reached hazardous levels, prompting authorities to advise everyone to stay indoors and minimize physical activity.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has extended the air quality health advisory throughout the city, with Long Island and Hudson Valley also affected. Various cities and municipalities in the area have issued their own air quality alerts, canceling outdoor events and urging residents to take precautions. Public schools in New York City and other large cities in the state have suspended outdoor activities.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has paused and delayed flights at certain airports due to reduced visibility caused by wildfire smoke. Libraries in New York City closed earlier than usual due to deteriorating air quality conditions. The hazy and unhealthy air is expected to persist for the next few days, according to officials.
Hospitals have not observed a significant increase in emergency room visits related to hazardous air quality, but people are advised to continue taking precautions to avoid breathing in contaminants. Older adults and children are particularly vulnerable, and individuals are encouraged to limit their time outdoors and wear high-quality masks if they must go outside.