Over 200 'out of control' wild fires plague Canada, sending smoke south to blanket US cities

Of the over 400 fires, 240 have been labeled as "out of control."

Jarryd Jaeger Vancouver, BC
Smoke from the hundreds of wildfires wreaking havoc on eastern Canada has drifted into the United States in recent days, with reports of hazy skies as far south as the Carolinas.

Conditions have quickly deteriorated further, prompting states and municipalities to issue air quality advisories, urging citizens to remain indoors to avoid potential health complications.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre, there are currently over 400 active fires in the country, with the vast majority raging in Ontario and Quebec. Of those, 239 have been labeled as "out of control."

Smoke began making its way south of the border earlier this week, and there appears to be no end in sight. 

As ABC News reports, the worst air quality has been measured in northern New York state and eastern Ontario, with conditions in cities such as Syracuse, Kingston, and Ottawa described as "hazardous." Air quality in the majority of New York state, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and Delaware, as well as Virginia's eastern coast, has been deemed "unhealthy" or "very unhealthy."

On Tuesday, New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation had issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for the city. Thirteen states and numerous cities have followed suit, and as of Wednesday morning, over 80 million people were under air quality alerts.

During a press conference on Wednesday, officials revealed that New York City currently had the second worst air quality on Earth, behind only Delhi, India.

"We recommend all New Yorkers limit outdoor activity to the greatest extent possible," Adams said. "Those with preexisting respiratory problems, like heart or breathing problems, as well as children and older adults may be especially sensitive and should stay indoors at this time."

North of the border, firefighters have been working tirelessly to extinguish the blazes, and while smoke is expected to continue flowing further south over the next couple days, experts say by the weekend conditions should improve.

Minister of Public Safety Bill Blair assured Canadians on Wednesday that "all orders of government are working closely together with our Indigenous partners to ensure a coordinated and effective response."

"It's all hands on deck, and it's around the clock," he added.
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