“Code Red” Issued Over Air In U.S. States

Last Friday, over 100 million Americans were under air quality alerts as the smoke from Canada’s ongoing wildfires continues to cause trouble for its neighbor to the south, CBS News reported.

From Vermont to Wisconsin and even down to North Carolina, air quality alerts were issued for Friday with conditions expected to slowly improve over the July 4 holiday weekend.

Storms in the Midwest on Thursday brought some relief to the region and additional rain on Friday was likely to lead to further improvement. However, in the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic States where Friday’s storms were more isolated, the smoke dissipated less quickly.

Canada is dealing with 588 active wildfires that are tanking air quality throughout both Canada and parts of the United States. Of those, 285 have been rated “out of control” by the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center. A total of 181 fires are located in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario which border US states from Montana in the west to Maine in the east.

Last month, the US Department of Interior announced a cooperation agreement between the US and Canada to provide “mutual aid” in fighting the wildfires, the Washington Examiner reported.

Given the ongoing fires, Canada canceled the fireworks shows planned for the July 1 Canada Day celebrations.

Meanwhile, as New Yorkers were preparing for the holiday weekend, Governor Kathy Hochul announced last Thursday that a statewide air quality health advisor was remaining in effect through June 30. Governor Hochul urged New Yorkers to take precautions when outside, including wearing masks.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, Canada’s national preparedness level is rated at the most extreme level of five, while the demand for resources to fight the fires is rated as high.

Canada’s current hot temperatures and dry weather have further exacerbated the fires, the agency said.