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At a glance: What you need to know about Canadian wildfires and smoky US skies | Wildfires

Canada is grappling with a series of devastating wildfires that have spread from its western provinces to Quebec, sparking hundreds of fires. Winds carried smoke from the blaze southwards, triggering air pollution warnings across the United States.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a bad air quality alert for New England on Tuesday, a day after parts of Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota received similar recommendations. Last week, U.S. officials said south of Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania Reportedly affected by wildfires.

Here’s what you should know:

what’s happening?

Smoke from wildfires in Canada has been pouring into the United States since last month. A recent fire near Quebec has been burning for at least several days.

The EPA said skies in New England will be cloudy, visibility will be poor, and the smell of burning wood is likely, and the smoke will linger for days.

smoke map

“Fire smoke is not uncommon in our area. said Mr. rhode island Department of Environmental Management. But smoke usually floats high in the atmosphere, so it doesn’t affect people’s health, he said.

The fires in the Quebec area are large and relatively close, about 500 to 600 miles from Rhode Island. A short-term air pollution warning was issued on May 30 following the Nova Scotia wildfires, Austin said.

What is your biggest concern?

Air quality alerts are triggered by a variety of factors, including the detection of particulate pollution known as ‘PM 2.5’ which can irritate the lungs.

“We have defenses in our upper airways that trap larger particles and keep them from entering our lungs. Dr. Hill said. Connecticut, is also a member of the National Board of Directors of the American Lung Association. “When these particles reach the respiratory space, they trigger an inflammatory response in the body.”

A cyclist wears a mask due to poor air quality in Ottawa on June 6. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

Illinois state climatologist Trent Ford said that because atmospheric conditions in the upper Midwest create a dry, warm climate, small particles can travel hundreds of miles from Canada’s wildfires and linger for days. said to be sexual.

“This is a great example of not just how complex the climate system is, but how connected it is,” Ford said.

Who Should Pay Attention?

Exposure to elevated levels of particulate pollution can affect the lungs and heart.

Air Quality Alert alerts a large category of ‘sensitive groups’, which includes children, the elderly, and people with lung conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Children, who are often encouraged to go out and play, are “susceptible to smoking for many reasons,” said Laura Kate Bender, assistant vice president of the American Lung Association. “Their lungs are still developing and they take in more air per unit of body weight.”

What can we do now?

It’s a good time to put yard work and outdoor exercise on the back burner. Consider wearing her N95 mask to reduce exposure to contaminants if she goes out.

A woman walks her dog along the Ottawa River in Ottawa on June 6 as wildfire obscures distant Gatineau, Quebec.
A woman walks her dog along the Ottawa River in Ottawa on June 6 as wildfire obscures distant Gatineau, Quebec. Photo: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

Stay indoors and close doors, windows and fireplaces. We recommend running the air conditioner on the recirculation setting.

“If your home’s HVAC system has a filter, you want to make sure it’s up to date and of good quality,” says Hill. “Some people, especially those with underlying lung or heart disease, should consider investing in a home air purifier.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jun/06/why-is-it-so-smoky-canada-wildfires-spark-air-quality-alerts-in-north-east-us At a glance: What you need to know about Canadian wildfires and smoky US skies | Wildfires

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