Authorities in East Coast cities including Washington DC, Delaware, and Philadelphia have declared a state of code red owing to deteriorating air quality. Code red signifies that the air quality in a specific area is potentially hazardous to its inhabitants, particularly those suffering from respiratory issues.
The deterioration in air quality can be attributed to smoke and haze from the raging wildfires in Canada, which has dramatically reduced visibility and increased respiratory difficulties across many regions of the United States. These wildfires have prompted thousands of Canadians residing in provinces such as Nova Scotia and Quebec to abandon their homes and pets. To date, the wildfires have consumed around 3.3 million hectares of Canadian territory and continue to pose a threat.
According to the Air Now’s air quality index, a score of 151-200 is considered detrimental to public health, while 101-150 is harmful to individuals with specific conditions. As of June 7th, Washington DC has reported an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 115. This deterioration in air quality has led to the suspension of outdoor activities in DC public schools, as reported by Popville. Philadelphia, with an AQI of 124, has also put outdoor school activities on hold.
Matthew Cappucii, a meteorologist from New York, mentioned in a tweet that the incoming smoke from the wildfires is expected to cause low visibility and induce a stinging sensation in the eyes. New York City is presently engulfed in an orange haze of smoke from these wildfires.
In the US, individuals who are pregnant or suffering from conditions such as asthma are advised to minimize outdoor exposure. Institutions like The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments also recommend staying indoors and reducing activities such as driving.
Officials in eastern cities like DC, Delaware, and Philadelphia have issued code reds due to a drop in air quality. A code red is issued when the air in a certain area is deemed harmful to citizens, and especially harmful to those with breathing issues.
This is because haze from the Canadian wildfires has befallen many areas in the United States and has made it harder to see and breathe. The wildfires have caused thousands of residents of Canadian provinces like Nova Scotia and Quebec to leave their homes and even their pets behind. The wildfires have engulfed 3.3 million hectares of Canadian land and are expected to affect more.
In Air Now’s air quality index chart, the scores of 151-200 are unhealthy for the public while 101-150 is harmful to groups with conditions. As of June 7th, DC has an AQI of 115 and this has led DC public schools to postpone outdoor activities, according to Popville. Philadelphia which has an AQI of 124, also has schools that are postponing outdoor activities.
In a tweet by New York, meteorologist Matthew Cappucii he noted that the incoming wildfire smoke will lower visibility and cause a stinging feeling in the eyes. New York City is currently covered by the orange haze of smoke.
In the United States, those who are pregnant or have conditions like asthma are advised to not go outside for long periods of time. Many officials like The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments recommend staying inside and limiting activities like driving.