The widespread wildfires that have engulfed Canada have had serious consequences for residents of the United States. More than 100 million Americans faced deteriorating air quality as clouds of smoke and soot from Canadian forests littered the skies over the Midwest and east coast of the country. The U.S. National Weather Service warned about the state’s air conditions, covering the states of Wisconsin, Michigan and New York. The warning affected more than 100 million people, or about one in three people in the country.
The air pollution situation has raised serious concerns among scientists and environmentalists. They point to the health hazards, especially for those who suffer from lung or respiratory diseases. Residents of regions prone to smoke are advised to limit outdoor activities and wear a mask if necessary.
Smoke from burning Canadian forests lingered in eastern U.S. cities such as New York, Chicago and Philadelphia for several days. This caused New York City to temporarily become the most polluted metropolis in the world. Residents of these cities had to deal with poor air quality and negative effects on their health.
However, the problem of wildfires in Canada is far from new. Since the beginning of the fire season, more than 8 million hectares of forest have already been burned, which is comparable to the size of the state of South Carolina. Carbon emissions from wildfires in Canada are at an all-time high.
Fires in Canada are a major concern among environmentalists and scientists. They link the increase in wildfires to climate change and global warming. Scientists warn of the possibility of further increases in the frequency and magnitude of wildfires in the future.