Due to the Severe Forest Fires in Canada - Authorities are giving out Free Masks in New YorkWorld | June 8, 2023, Thursday // 10:52| views
New York City
Tens of millions of North Americans are at risk of poor air quality from raging wildfires in Canada.
Authorities in New York are starting to distribute free masks today. In a phone conversation with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Joe Biden offered additional help to deal with forest fires.
"Dangerously" high values were measured in New York and Ottawa. Health officials are urging people not to exercise outdoors and to minimize their exposure to second-hand smoke if possible. In New York, indoor games were also postponed by the Women's National Basketball Association. Baseball games have also been rescheduled. Authorities recommend wearing Number 95 masks.
"The normal, safe air quality index is 50. Areas of our state have seen levels over 400 in the last 24 hours. That's why we're very concerned. There's an immediate health effect. It's irritating to the eyes and nose, there's difficulty breathing, cough, even shortness of breath. Our message is just stay indoors," said Kathy Hochul, governor of New York state.
120,000 have already been evacuated to Canada, where the fire consumed three million and 800 thousand hectares of forests. The country is facing the worst wildfire season on record, which started unusually early. Climate change is contributing to hot and dry weather.
Thick smoke is expected to linger over New York on Thursday, with the possibility of reaching the capital Washington. A side effect of the fires is coloring the sun red. The air quality is expected to remain poor over the weekend.
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