Smoke from Canada and West Coast wildfires swept across the US this week, moving east and south and covering the skies in a thick gray haze.
Health alerts were issued from Toronto to Philadelphia as air quality remained in the unhealthy category for much of the East Coast new York Times.
There were more than 80 major fires across the US, and many more in Canada.
The bootleg fire in southern Oregon is the largest fire in the US so far this year. It has already burned more than 530 square miles of forest and grasslands, and is so extreme, it has generated its own weather and triggered lightning strikes.
A series of record-breaking heatwaves and droughts linked to climate change have fueled wildfires, which have now grown to the extent that its effects are felt thousands of miles away.
Air pollution in Toronto, New York and Philadelphia was in the Environmental Protection Agency’s “unhealthy range” for most of the day on Tuesday. Cities in Minnesota recorded “alarming” levels of pollution from smoke traveling across the border from Canada’s fires.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted satellite footage to Twitter, showing how Smoke spread across North America last week.
The fine particles released during wildfires are dangerous to breathe, and can increase the risk of asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. Now.
Roisin Komen, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, said people should avoid going outside in conditions of high pollution, and especially avoid strenuous exercise. She also said that wearing filtered masks can provide some protection to those who cannot avoid going out.
“A lot of the masks people wear for Covid are designed to capture PM2.5” [dangerous microscopic air pollution],” she said. “It is just the right size to be very useful for air quality.”