Smoke from forest fires has spread dramatically across the United States.
Air pollution has hit much of the country Smoke from wildfires in Canada and the West Coast swirled across the United States this week, moving east and south to cover the sky in thick gray haze. According to the New York Times, health alerts were triggered from Toronto to Philadelphia as air quality remained poor across much of the East Coast. Over 80 major fires have been started across America, and many more in Canada.
Bootleg Fire in southern Oregon is so far the biggest fire of the year in the United States. It has already burned more than 1,373 square kilometers of forest and grassland. It is so extreme that it has generated its own climatic field and set off lightning bolts.
A series of record-breaking heat waves and droughts linked to climate change exacerbated the forest fires of such intensity and violence that the effects were felt thousands of kilometers away. Air pollution in Toronto, New York and Philadelphia last Tuesday was classified by the Environmental Protection Agency as "bad for your health" for most of the day.
In New York precisely, the air quality is among the worst in the world while American cities are shrouded in smoke. According to the World Health Organization, air quality measurements showed a level of dangerousness nine times higher than the risk recommendations in parts of New York.
Cities in Minnesota have recorded "dangerous" levels of pollution from smoke crossing the border from the Canadian fires. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration posted satellite images on Twitter, showing how smoke swept across North America last week. The fine particles released during wildfires are dangerous to breathe and can increase the risk of asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes, the NYT reported. Róisín Commane, atmospheric scientist at Columbia University, said people should avoid going out in high pollution conditions, and especially avoid strenuous exercise.
She also said that wearing filter masks can offer some protection for those who cannot avoid going outdoors. “Many of the masks people wear to protect themselves from Covid 19 are designed to capture dangerous microscopic air pollution, ” she said. “It's the right size and is ideal for filtering air. "
Due to the hot, dry conditions, wildfires are common on the West Coast in the summer, but so far there have been more than 34,000 fires in the United States in 2021, burning more than two million. acres. “This is the highest number of fires during the January-July period since 2011. July is relatively early in the year to see wildfire activity of this magnitude,” NOAA said ( The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in French the American Oceanic and Atmospheric Observation Agency, is the American agency responsible for studying the ocean and the atmosphere.) (1).
June 2021 was the fifth hottest June on record for the world. A University of Alberta study linked thick smoke from wildfires to long-term respiratory consequences for firefighters. "People who were dealing with the burning of organics were exposed to a barrage of fine particles in the smoke, and those who were most at risk had long-term consequences," said Nicola Cherry, senior researcher at the 'study. “The effect was related to risk - those who had more exposure had greater effects. "
(1) - Sources - Wikipedia