After recent heavy rains failed to fall in areas of Quebec where the fires are most active, officials said Wednesday that Canadian wildfires would send deteriorating hazy air across the nation and neighboring United States in the coming days.
Broad regions of Canada and the United States have seen gray curtains descend from the flames, reaching into southern Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and some areas of West Virginia.
The worst wildfire season in Canadian history, according to officials, and they anticipate that air quality will continue to be an issue throughout the summer as long as the flames burn.
According to fire and environmental experts, it began early on drier-than-normal ground and grew swiftly, using all available firefighting resources nationwide.
Cincinnati is covered in Canadian wildfire smoke:
Worst day of smoke from the Canadian wildfires we’ve had yet in #pittsburgh. Can barely see the Steel Building from the Duquesne Incline. You can even smell it in the air; smells like the morning after a bonfire. Pretty surreal. pic.twitter.com/UZoBQig4UC
— Dave DiCello (@DaveDiCello) June 28, 2023
Over the next several days, smoke will spread throughout Quebec and Ontario, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada meteorologist Steven Flisfeder, and the air quality will suffer.
Flisfeder states, “Americans and Canadians alike will be concerned as long as the fires are burning and the smoke is in the atmosphere.”
According to Flisfeder, the hazy, smokey sky will continue unless rainfall gives firefighters enough assistance in putting out the fires. It’s crucial to remember that the locations with the most active forest fires did not see the most significant amounts of rain, according to Flisfeder.
The Great Lakes region and the Detroit area experienced some of the worst air quality in the country on Wednesday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires spreading southward as far as Missouri and Kentucky.
According to NASA, wildfire smoke in northern Quebec has already reached Europe. According to the American space agency, smoke could be seen in satellite images on Monday, spreading across the North Atlantic Ocean to the Iberian Peninsula, France, and other Western European nations.
The country has 490 active fires, 255 deemed out of control. There are 110 ongoing fires, according to Quebec’s forest fire protection organization.
The amount of land burned has already been surpassed by Canada. Flames are raging in almost every province in Canada. According to the Canadian government, a record 30,000 square miles (80,000 square kilometers) of Canada has burned, an area nearly as big as South Carolina.
Flisfeder declared that this season “has been unprecedented.”
Dr. Kieran Moore, the chief medical officer of Ontario, advised people to start checking the air quality every day this summer.
Looking at those characteristics is now “our new normal,” Moore said.
Toronto, Canada’s largest metropolis, where daycare facilities and the school board banned outside activities, with clear hazy skies and sour air.
BREATH OF FRESH AIR
Everyone in our region has now dropped down to Good or Moderate air quality. No worries about getting outside and doing some yard work or exercising. pic.twitter.com/fzGzVJiXS6
— Adam Joseph (@6abcadamjoseph) June 9, 2023
As a result of smoke and wildfires, about 1,200 vulnerable people from Cree villages have evacuated northern Quebec. According to Dr. François Prévost of the Cree health board, the evacuation process has gone pretty well, but he adds that the circumstance presents unique health, logistical, and cultural obstacles.