Canadian wildfires have caused dangerously low air quality in New York authorities, causing the authorities to cancel all planned outdoor activities late on Wednesday and advise residents to stay indoors as much as possible.
On a list of cities with the worst air pollution in the world, New York shot to the top rank with levels not seen since the 1960s as circumstances quickly deteriorated Wednesday afternoon as an orange-grey haze blanketed the city.
Ashwin Vasan, the city’s health commissioner, declared that the air outside was “extremely dangerous” and advised all New Yorkers to stay indoors if they could.
For New York, the Bronx, Kings, Queens, Richmond counties, and the neighboring suburbs, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory that lasts through midnight on Thursday.
The state’s Department of Health suggests that people “individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.”
The hazardous air is due to fires in Quebec and Nova Scotia. The worst haze and patchy smoke were temporarily relieved early on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service, but conditions later in the day were predicted to worsen.
The air quality may be compromised throughout the week and possibly into the weekend.
On Tuesday night, Mayor Adams declared that all outside events at NYC public schools would be canceled as the weather worsened.
Adams amplified the city’s proposals at a press conference late on Wednesday but did not impose any regulations on private firms. There are guidelines for flexible scheduling alternatives for city departments.
Adams commanded, “Stay inside, stay safe.” The wisest course of action now is to stay indoors unless necessary.
According to IQAir, the situation in the city deteriorated late on Wednesday to the point that New York was named the city with the poorest air quality in the entire globe.
Adams said the city’s air quality index rating once reached 484 out of 500.
Many canceled concerts, protests, and outdoor school events were due to the dangerous weather.
The Yankees-White Sox game on Wednesday has been postponed. At LaGuardia Airport, a ground stop was mandated due to the thick smoke. A large percentage of patients at one medical facility complained of respiratory problems.
Zach Iscol, the emergency management commissioner, stated that although the air quality alert is still in effect through Thursday at midnight, he anticipates it may be extended over that point, possibly into the weekend.
The worst smoke was anticipated to occur Wednesday afternoon and evening, with some relief perhaps occurring Thursday or Friday. However, it might not be until the weekend that everything returns to normal.
On Wednesday afternoon, Governor Hochul provided an update on the situation, describing it as “a crisis” and noting that some areas of the state had an 800% spike in harmful air quality in hours.
This year, there have been more than 8 million acres of land fires in Canada. At least 500,000 acres have already been burned by wildfires in Quebec.
Hochul stated in a statement that “New York State experts are monitoring our air quality every day to ensure that New Yorkers have the most up-to-date knowledge about the current air quality in their communities and what they can do to protect themselves.”