New York trapped in smoke from Canadian wildfires

Suddenly, New York began to look like San Francisco in the summer: orange sun veiled by clouds, the building opposite obscured by smoke and that uncontrollable cough that comes over anyone who ventures outside. The most populous metropolis in the United States (8 million inhabitants) found itself in the smoke of fires in Canada. According to the government website AirNow, the air in Manhattan around Central Park is “very harmful to health”. Continues to deteriorate, going from a ‘red’ index – with measurements of fine particles in the air from 162 to 183 in the morning – to “purple”, with an index of 235 at 14:00

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In Syracuse, in the north of the state, the meter reaches 391 (out of a maximum of 400) with air quality “dangerous” : this is what threatens New York in the hours to come. The tabloid New York Postciting IQair, he notes that only New Delhi in India and Dhaka in Bangladesh currently have even worse air quality.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets a neighborhood in the Bronx, New York on June 7, 2023.

“I don’t remember anything that big, declared to New York Times the meteorologist Giovanni Cristantello. It’s significant. » The city is taken aback: “There is no manual for this type of event”said the mayor, Eric Adams, believing there was “no late notifications” of the arrival of the pollution cloud.

Parties cancelled

The city and state are now in containment order. It is advisable not to go out or play sports, to use masks and to use the air conditioning by closing the windows. Schools remain open, but outdoor activities are suspended. “Today we moved all outdoor activities indoors at all levels, including recreational activities and all outdoor excursions”the director of the French school in New York, Evelyne Estey, wrote to her parents. “All windows will be closed, with air conditioning and air filtration systems on. The school has made additional N95 masks available at both entrances of the school for anyone who wants them. »

Outdoor festivities that proliferate in June are cancelled, such as the fireworks and party planned at Coney Island to celebrate 120 years of Luna Park, Brooklyn’s historic oceanfront amusement park. “Following Mayor Adams’ announcement that air quality is expected to deteriorate tonight due to wildfires in Canada, Coney Island Luna Park is postponing the grand opening of its fireworks expansion, scheduled for tonight.”, says the park. Animal advocates have called on horse-drawn carriages in Central Park, which charge tourists a fortune, to stop operating.

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