Polluted air from Canadian wildfires has returned to the United States this week, and state officials on Monday urged residents in some cities to take precautions by limiting outdoor activities and wearing masks.
There are About 900 wildfires are burning across CanadaBut this week the smoke will come from the western part of the country.
“Unfortunately, wildfires will begin to move back into the smoke zone to start the new week,” the National Weather Service in the Philadelphia area said.
Air quality warnings were issued for several areas including the Midwest, Great Lakes, Central Tennessee and North Carolina and the Northeast.
As of 10 a.m. ET Monday, cities in the Midwest were reporting the worst air quality in the nation. Environmental Protection Agency Air Quality Index. The code runs from 0 to 500; The higher the number, the higher the level of air pollution. An AQI of 201 or higher is considered very unhealthy. Billings, Mont. and Fort Wayne, Ind., was 161, while the Cleveland area was 157.
Local authorities advised residents to limit outdoor activities, use public transport or wear masks. Mayor Byron W. BROWN – The message from Buffalo was repeated Told the residents Take precautions – For Chicago, an air quality warning was in effect until Sunday night.
“We are well aware that the recent weather events that will significantly affect our city this summer are a direct result of the climate crisis,” said Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson. said SundayWarning children, the elderly and people with heart or lung disease to limit outdoor activity.
Unhealthy conditions are forecast for upstate New York on Monday AirNow, a website run by the US Environmental Protection Agency that monitors air quality across the country. The forecast is expected to result in “unhealthy for all” conditions in the area near the Canadian border. AirNow. In other parts of the state, conditions may reach “unhealthy for sensitive groups”.
The The same condition was used For Pennsylvania on Monday, the Department of Environmental Protection issued a statewide “Code Orange” warning. It recommended that residents and businesses help limit the burning of leaves, debris and other materials and avoid using gas-powered lawn and garden equipment.
“Canadian wildfire smoke will remain in the picture through Tuesday as northwesterly winds from the Canadian prairies continue to push heavy smoke into the upper 48s below,” the weather service said.
As early as last month, levels of particulate matter in the air from smog became unhealthy, with several US cities setting records. In spots, it can be dangerous to breathe everywhere from Minnesota and Indiana to the Mid-Atlantic and Southern regions.
In cities including New York, Toronto and Cincinnati, visibility has dropped alarmingly. In some places, smoke from the fires covered the sky in orange. That smoke can be traced back to wildfires burning in Quebec.
Here’s a guide to understanding air quality metrics.