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Canada Wildfires Continue to Cause Extreme Air Pollution in the U.S.

Canada wildfires causes a movie-like scene in cities like NYC and Washington D.C.

David H. Koch Plaza, New York. Credit: Lena Chert/Shutterstock

No, it isn’t a filter.

Canada wildfires put an orange haze over U.S. states this week, and citizens were cautioned to stay inside to keep healthy.

New York City currently has the world’s worst air pollution, and people took to social media to share the eerie scene.

The smoke blanketed New York City earlier this week and has since traveled down to Washington, D.C. People in the U.S. were warned to keep alert of their outdoor air quality.

These are juxtaposing photos taken by New Yorker Malith Waharaka at both 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul made an announcement to the public urging them to stay indoors if they can, saying it is “detrimental to people’s health,” according to CNBC. Mayor Eric Adams told reporters that you can “smell and feel” the smog.

On Wednesday afternoon, air quality levels reached an AQI of 342, which is the worst the city has ever experienced and is “hazardous” to all citizens, according to CNBC. Many people were ordered to work from home in order to stay safe and indoors.

In addition to working from home, many outdoor sports or events were canceled. The MLB released a statement canceling multiple games in the northeast, including the Yankees-White Sox game in New York, Phillies-Tigers game in Philadelphia, and most recently, the Diamondbacks-Nationals game in Washington D.C. The games were rescheduled for later this month, according to CBS Sports.

Canada Wildfire Season

The 2023 Canada wildfire season is the worst they have ever seen it, and experts are sharing that this should act as a wake up call for people. The fire has burned more than 9.4 million acres with no end in sight.

Experts are also commenting on the long-term health effects of air pollution. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, there are both short and long-term effects of breathing in wood smoke.

Short-term effects include lung disease, asthma, and acute bronchitis, while long-term effects include chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), chronic bronchitis, and cardiovascular disease. This is why it is so urged for citizens to check their air quality before doing outdoor activities.

Reactions Documented on Social Media

People took social media by storm, sharing photos and videos of the obscure color the air pollution caused. The orange smog looked like a filter, but New Yorkers stressed that there was no such thing.

TikTok and Twitter were amongst the social media platforms people decided to post on to share videos of Manhattan. Videos gained millions upon millions of views as people in other states were in disbelief at how intense the smog was.

The smog is set to improve but will continue to make its way south. Please be alert and stay safe if you are in any affected areas.

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I am a senior journalism major Chinese minor at Texas Christian University. I have worked in student media since beginning my time at TCU and have since found my passion to be multimedia storytelling. I enjoy conducting extensive research for stories to make them as well-rounded as possible.

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