Canadian wildfires seem to be the theme of this summer and as the climate continues to change before our eyes, the question of whether this is the new norm is becoming increasingly valid.
A vast number of individuals throughout the nation are still confronting severe weather conditions. Canadian wildfires have blanketed the American Midwest and Northeast regions with smoke, while the South is enduring a heat wave that doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.
Strong to severe thunderstorms are in the forecast for the Midwest along with dangerous smoke from Canadian wildfires. Air quality alerts are up including sections of the Northeast and Ohio Valley. Oppressive heat and humidity continues for millions of folks across the South. pic.twitter.com/j2pcTHYc1C
— Janice Dean (@JaniceDean) June 28, 2023
The National Weather Service alluded Wednesday that an end to the wildfire smoke and poor air quality that has been plaguing millions of Americans is not close.
This year, more acres of land have burned in Canada than ever, and the record continues to be set higher each day. The current tally of burned land across Canada has reached an unprecedented 20 million acres, surpassing the previous record of 17.5 million acres set in 1995. Meteorologists predict that the Canadian wildfires will persist throughout the summer, resulting in recurring instances of smoke outbreaks similar to the ones witnessed this week and earlier in June.
On Wednesday, smoke began to extend toward the mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Although air quality remained satisfactory by midday, both New York City and Washington, D.C., cautioned that smoke would be making its way back, albeit not at the hazardous levels witnessed earlier this month when the skies briefly turned to a luminous orange.
A Code Red Alert means that air pollution concentrations will be unhealthy for the general population. Minimize strenuous activity outdoors. pic.twitter.com/XrvpjZWGM7
— Forecaster John (@jb_weather) June 29, 2023
The DC Metro region is anticipated to face a code red air quality alert on Thursday, as stated by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. This alert is due to the potential arrival of wildfire smoke, which may result in unhealthy air quality levels in DC, Virginia, and Maryland.
Furthermore, air quality alerts have been issued for Iowa, Kentucky, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, and a significant portion of North Carolina. Additionally, the entire state of Pennsylvania declared a code red air quality day on Wednesday, while Maryland issued a similar alert for its western region and an orange alert specifically for the DC area.
Air quality is now ‘orange’ (unhealthy for sensitive groups) for NYC, the burbs and parts of NJ (northeast and central).
— Nsikan Akpan, PhD (@MoNscience) June 29, 2023
It is crucial that those in at-risk areas limit exposure when under alert. This is increasingly necessary for individuals sensitive to poor air quality such as children, senior citizens and anyone with heart and/or lung issues.
Close to 500 fires are still burning across Canada, including extremely poor conditions in parts of Ontario and Quebec. The smoke from these fires has infiltrated much of the US and even parts of Europe. Its reach of detriment truly highlights the severity of the situation we find ourselves in: Exacerbated fires and declining air quality due to a worsening climate.
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.