Harmful air pollution is spreading rapidly due to wildfires spreading across the western United States and Canada. Including a two-week-old massive fire in Oregon. A plume of smoke and soot from the fierce western wildfires on Tuesday moved east with a changing wind direction as far east as New York, raising the risk of harmful air pollution there.
Smoke spread for thousands of miles due to fire
In 13 western states, this orgy of more than 80 large active wildfires has occurred in recent weeks, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC) in Boise, Idaho, an area larger than Delaware, about 1.3 million acres (526,090 ha). It has burned dry-sweating vegetation to ashes, burning several hundred miles of additional fires in western and central Canada. British Columbia’s leading authorities declared a state of emergency. Oregon ‘monster’ fires have entered their third week, with wildfires posing great risks to nature, life and property.
The bootleg fire raged on July 6, burning 388,600 acres (157,260 ha) of dry brush and wood black in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest, about 250 miles south of Portland. Although an army of about 2,200 personnel had managed to cover about 30% of the fire’s perimeter to bring the fire under control by Tuesday, the fire had spread to the east and north.
Incident Commander Rob Allen said in his daily report that the tinder-dry fuel within the fire area would “burn for weeks and produce smoke.”
harmful pollution caused by smoke
The land, as well as the air, have been contaminated due to the massive wildfires that spread across the western United States and Canada. The jet stream and other cross-continental air currents have carried smoke and ash for thousands of miles. Because of this, people in cities miles away were feeling the air pollution in their eyes, nose, and lungs.
It is certainly a matter of concern, as in New York City, where the skyline of Manhattan is covered with smoke, the sky is hazy.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) for particulate matter reached 170, a level considered harmful even to healthy individuals and nine times higher than the World Health Organization’s risk-averse air exposure. Other Northeast cities, including Boston and Hartford, Connecticut, have had readings in the unhealthy zone above 150. Local residents have been advised to wear face masks outside to limit exposure.
NIFC meteorologist Nick Nausler said smoke from Canada’s wildfires in Manitoba and Ontario likely pushed the United States’ AQI in Detroit and Cleveland above 125, which is considered unhealthy for vulnerable individuals. Smoke from wildfires from Canada’s western provinces reached as far east as Ontario, prompting a comprehensive government air quality warning.