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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Wildfires in Canada bringing hazy skies over East Coast

By Isabella Kwai New York Times

Smoke from wildfires in Canada was drifting over New York and other states Monday, officials have warned, adding that they were anticipating slight impacts on air quality in some places.

Forecasters in the region said hazy conditions were expected to linger into the afternoon in New York, Long Island and southeast Connecticut as wildfire smoke moved across the area. The haze had been anticipated to reach New York City around sunrise Monday, according to an update Sunday from Mayor Eric Adams.

Brian Ciemnecki, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton, New York, said the smoke would remain high enough in the sky “to create a little bit of haze” in the region. He added, “It really shouldn’t be that bad.”

Cities in other parts of the country were also reporting air quality readings affected by the smoke, which could be seen traveling along the Eastern Seaboard in satellite imagery.

“The impacts are projected to be mild, though New Yorkers will likely see hazy skies in the morning,” Adams said in a statement, adding that officials would update residents as the forecast solidified through the day. “New Yorkers should listen to their bodies, especially if they have any preexisting health conditions and take any necessary precautions to ensure they stay safe.”

As of 11 a.m. Eastern time Monday, the air quality was classified as moderate for some in Buffalo, New York; Detroit; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; and Providence, Rhode Island, according to AirNow, a government air quality tracker. In New York, the air quality was also moderate. The National Weather Service in New York said that the smoke was expected to “remain above the surface,” resulting in some haze.

The National Weather Service in Boston described the smoke Monday as a “milky haze.”

Winds blew the smoke south from hundreds of wildfires in Canada, which is experiencing a higher than average incidence of blazes this year. In its most recent update last week, Canada’s government said nearly 500 fires were burning uncontrolled, with the flames consuming more than 16,000 acres this year.

Air quality Monday in New York is expected to reach about a moderate level of 55 on the air quality index, according to a forecast from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Levels above 100 mean that the quality is known to cause adverse health effects, but officials said that lower levels could still affect people who are sensitive to air pollution.

No health advisories were expected, the department said Sunday, adding that smoke in the state could become visible into Monday at high altitudes.

Air quality was expected to remain moderate in southern New England on Monday after a smoke plume on Sunday covered the region with white haze and particulate matter, causing some unhealthy levels of air quality, the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said late Sunday.

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.