Photo Credit: City of New York / Twitter
New York City air quality on June 6, 2023

Smoke from more than 160 wildfires burning in Quebec and Ottawa provinces in Canada, is drifting into the United States and damaging the air quality in areas as far south as the Carolinas.


Millions of Americans are being warned the air quality in their areas is “unhealthy.”

Air quality alerts have been issued in Quebec, Toronto and in 17 American states as well as in cities such as Boston, New York City, Jersey City, Union City, Paterson, Wilmington, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Minneapolis, St. Louis and Raleigh.

Interactive Air Quality Map from the US government’s Air Now site.

Cities with the lowest air quality include New York City, Wilmington and Cincinnati – among others — as seen on an interactive map of air quality data by the US government ‘AirNow’ website.

Basya W., a resident living in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, told, “The air here smells like a campfire.”

The sun in the Big Apple was barely visible due to the smoky haze. Residents were warned to limit their time outdoors, particularly those with respiratory illnesses, heart disease, children and adults over 65.

“Fine particles (PM2.5) are among the most harmful pollutants. Long-term exposure to PM2.5 contributes to an estimated 2,300 excess deaths from lung and heart disease each year in NYC (1 out of every 20 deaths in NYC), and short-term exposure contributes to asthma incidents severe enough to require a trip to the emergency department, as well as other health threats,” according to a post on New York City’s Environment and Health Data Portal.

The site monitors and reports on real-time air quality in the city, and its causes.

The office of Mayor Eric Adams tweeted an “air quality health advisory” was in effect until midnight Wednesday night.

By late Tuesday, there were blazes in nearly all of Canada’s 10 provinces and territories, with Quebec the worst impacted due to multiple fires caused by lightning, Reuters reported.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality advisory for New York, Bronx, Kings, Queens and Richmond counties and their surrounding suburbs.

“Until 11:59 pm on Wednesday . . . People with respiratory concerns such as asthma should reduce heavy exertion outdoors,” according to the mayor’s office in New York City.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.