When Canada Smokes, the US Chokes.

Photo credit: Xinhua/Shutterstock. Hundreds of wildfires are continuing to burn in Quebec, Canada, and winds are carrying dense smoke to eastern US cities. Skies are dark across Quebec as hundreds of wildfires cast a pall over the skies.
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By Editor-June 9th 2023.

Canada is seeing its worst-ever start to wildfire season, with wildfires affecting much of the country and creating hazardous smoky conditions across the continent and beyond.

After reaching New York earlier this week, on Thursday it blanketed Washington, DC, in an unhealthy haze, prompting many residents to stay indoors.

But what is the cause? Mostly unusual weather conditions.

Atlantic Canada received low snowfall this winter, followed by an exceptionally dry spring.

Nova Scotia’s capital Halifax received just 120mm of rain between March and May, roughly a third of the average, according to The Weather Network meteorologist Michael Carter.

A heatwave late in May pushed temperatures in Halifax to 33C (91.4 F) on Thursday, about 10 degrees Celsius above normal for this time of year.

As of early Friday, there were 427 active wildfires, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center; of those, 232 were out of control.

In the West Coast province of British Columbia, authorities reported 81 active wildfires – 28 out of control – while in the province of Alberta, authorities reported 72 active wildfires.

Quebec, on the country’s eastern side, has 128 active fires.

The fires have spread across about 4.3 million hectares (10.6 million acres), roughly 15 times the annual average of the past decade.

Smoke is going into the air in Canada, but a lot of it is coming down in the United States.

It’s not only large northeastern cities that are smothered in smoke. States as far west as Minnesota and as far south as South Carolina have watched their air quality deteriorate, in some cases reaching record levels of pollution. The ongoing air quality crisis is likely one of North America’s worst wildfire smoke events in the last two decades.

Source: IQAIR

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