Video: Canada: Ottawa's capital's skies painted orange due to wildfires (Reuters)
Wildfires in Canada in recent weeks have led to warnings of heavy air pollution across North America, including major U.S. cities. The smoke enveloped large parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, including Toronto and its environs, and reached as far as New York and Connecticut.
The most severe warning issued by Canadian authorities was in the capital Ottawa, where air pollution levels were described as "very high risks" to residents' health. In Toronto, air quality was classified as "high risk."
Canada is preparing for a peak in the fire season. Smoke rises from a wooded area in Quebec last month (Photo: Reuters, None)
In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has classified air quality in much of the Northeast as "unhealthy," especially for those with respiratory problems. In New York City, orange smog blanketed the city's famous skyline and air pollution warnings reached as far as Boston, Pittsburgh, and Washington, D.C.
In parts of Pennsylvania, New York and the New England region, the air quality index reached more than 200, meaning conditions are "very unhealthy for everyone." Public health officials advised residents not to exercise outdoors and to minimize their exposure to air pollution that has spread south from Canada.
Statue of Liberty in the shadow of smog that covered the New York sky, yesterday(Photo: Reuters, None)
The World Trade Center is covered in haze and smoke caused by fires in Canada, New York, USA, June 6, 2023. (Photo: Reuters, None)
The epicenter of the fires in Canada is in Quebec, where about 160 fires are still raging. In one province, the air quality is so poor that residents suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems have had to relocate.
Canada's current fire season is beyond average, and this summer may be the worst on record due to the expected dry and hot conditions. The latest fires have already burned an area of more than 330,12 kilometres – <> times more than the average for this time of year over the past decade.
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