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The sun rises over a hazy New York City skyline as seen from Jersey City, N.J., Wednesday, June 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Intense Smoke from Canadian Wildfires Continues to Cause Air Quality Alerts, Pushes South

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From the dark skies over Yankee Stadium to the smoky orange haze obscuring the Brooklyn Bridge, New Yorkers were taken aback by the unprecedented event.

"Very, very scary just walking down the street and feeling like I'm going to have an asthma attack," said Jordan Mackenzie, a New York resident.

New York City's skyline at midday yesterday was a yellowish gray in color. 

The air quality index here is the worst on the planet. Flights were temporarily halted into LaGuardia due to low visibility. 

"We could see it, we could smell it, and we felt it. And it was alarming and concerning," said Mayor Eric Adams (D-NY).

slider img 2Health officials are recommending folks wear masks and cancel outdoor activities.

"As we all know, the normal air quality index, safe normal is 50. Parts of our state have seen a level of over 400 the last 24 hours," said New York Democratic Gov Kathy Hochul. 

From the Big Apple down to Washington, D.C., across to Michigan, and as far south as Georgia, some 115 million Americans in 15 states are now under air quality advisory. 

CBN Faithwire's Dan Andros reported from his neighborhood in suburban Philadelphia.

"It feels somewhat like you're sitting at the campfire and the wind has blown in your direction and you're inhaling all the smoke from the campfire," narrated Andros.

That smoke coming from Canada where they're facing one of the worst wildfire seasons ever.

"As of today, there are 414 wildfires burning, 239 of which are determined to be out of control," said Bill Blair, Canada's Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister.

The blanket of smoke even spread far south to Hampton Roads, Virginia. 

Residents in that area can expect smoke levels to increase in the coming days. 

Health experts warn that if the air quality gets worse that it's always a good idea to limit your exposure by staying indoors.

"Every time you breathe, you are bringing the outside world into your lungs and into your body. If there are pollutants or irritants, they can get into the lungs and really cause significant inflammation," said Dr. Jonathan Spahr, a pediatric pulmonologist at Geisinger.

The weather pattern forcing the smoke south into our cities is expected to last at least another day or so, then clear out by the weekend.

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About The Author

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Born in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and of Indian descent, CBN News’ Senior International Correspondent and Co-Anchor, George Thomas, has been traveling the globe for more than 20 years, finding the stories of people, conflicts, and issues that must be told. He has reported from more than 100 countries and has had a front-row seat to numerous global events of our day. George’s stories of faith, struggle, and hope combine the expertise of a seasoned journalist with the inspiration of a deep calling to tell the stories of the people behind the news. “I’ve always liked discovering & exploring new