Canada Wildfires Worsen Air Quality in the U.S.

Bloomsburg is surrounded by a hazy smoke from the Canada Wildfires. Photo by Sydney Stokes.

Numerous reports of hazy smoke and low visibility cover the United States due to the wildfires spreading across Canada. 

Canada wildfire season happens to run from May through October, but even this intensity of flames is unforeseen. What will the future on the season be? 

The air quality within North America has become poor and unhealthy for many citizens. This plume of noxious smoke has triggered various air pollution warnings. 

New York City is one is the most notable locations affected by these fumes. Residents are wearing COVID-19 masks and the children have been kept inside during recess, due to various alerts. Many NYC officials advise the various commuters and goes of the city to stay inside for their safety. 

Check out live updates from NYT as the smoke continues to push south and west through the United States. NBC has been sharing live updates and reported, “Around 123 million people are under air quality alerts this morning.” NBC has provided how poor air quality affects health.

On June 7th at 4pm, the air quality in New York City has reached 253 which is lower than previous reports of 400. The strangest occurrence is the change of color within the atmosphere from clear skies, onto brown, then to a musty orange color.

The air quality of Boston at 4pm is at 81, a drastic difference from Manhattan. The rate is moderate despite not being too far from New York and Canada. However, Boston is within the safer areas across the maps compared to other locations in the U.S. 

Within the state of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg suffers from worsening air pollution. At 4:05pm, the numbers reached a high of 169 which is worse than yesterday at this time.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection issued a Code RED Air Quality Alert. This means that air pollution concentrations within the region are unhealthy, and the public may experience mild health effects.

Bloomsburg, home to Bloomsburg University and many town residenrs, had turned to a brown hue for most of the day yesterday. The atmosphere is luckily clearing up more, but the warnings of poor air quality are still on high alert.

Hours later, other areas of PA such as Montgomery County, Bucks County, Wilkes-Barre, and more, had their numbers increase throughout the day. At 7:30pm, the air quality in Montgomery County was at a whopping 223. This number is recognized as “very unhealthy”. Some Pennsylvanians affected have resorted to wearing their COVID-19 masks again just like New York City.

As many iPhone users continuously check their weather applications, the rates get higher and the air is thicker. At 9:41pm, Lansdale levels of air pollution are at 301. Doylestown is at all-time high of 385.

This morning on June 8 at 10:45, Spring Grove has reached an even higher level of, now, hazardous air quality. The numbers have skyrocketed to 404.

How will the smoke pass over time? Will it go away soon or take a few more days? Residents facing these treacherous have more fear as the days go by and many are unsure of what to do within this situation.

Further questions may be asked: Is this a taste of what pollution could look like in the future?