Smog from Canada wildfires blankets New York

Thursday, Jun 08, 2023

NEW YORK: An orange-tinged smog caused by Canada´s wildfires shrouded New York on Wednesday, obscuring its famous skyscrapers and causing residents to don face masks, as cities along the US East Coast issued air quality alerts. Tens of millions of people across the region were under pollution warnings after smoke from the wildfires drifted south, including to the Big Apple, where residents were advised to limit outdoor activity.

Forty-three-year-old lawyer Hugh Hill -- wearing a mask while walking his dog in Central Park -- said his eyes and throat had been “stinging” from the harmful haze, which he likened to the smell of a wood-burning fire.

“I don´t know if it´s psychological or physical but I know there´s some benefit to wearing a mask. Obviously, it´s not going to prevent everything but the dog has to be walked,” he told AFP. The thick haze enveloped the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline, which would normally be sparkling under bright, blue early summer skies. America´s financial capital and much of New York state were subject to an air quality health advisory alert that was in effect until Wednesday night. Warnings were also in place in the US capital Washington. All outdoor activities at New York City´s public schools were suspended and Mayor Eric Adams urged city dwellers to limit outdoor time to “the absolute necessities.”

“This is not the day to train for a marathon,” he told reporters., which tracks pollution around the world, said New York City´s air quality index (AQI) was an “unhealthy” 158 on Wednesday morning.