(CTN News) – An air quality alert has been issued for various regions of New York state on Monday due to ongoing wildfires in Canada.
The State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos and State Department of Health (DOH) Commissioner Dr. James McDonald jointly issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for several areas, including Long Island, New York City Metro, Lower Hudson Valley, Upper Hudson Valley, Adirondacks, Eastern Lake Ontario, Central New York, and Western New York regions.
Impact of Wildfire Smoke on Air Quality
The advisory warns of fine particulate matter and ozone, which may adversely affect air quality and human health.
The advisory, in effect from 12 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, highlights that air quality is likely unhealthy for sensitive groups. Although the visibility of the impact may be less pronounced than in previous weeks, state officials are urging individuals belonging to sensitive groups to exercise caution when outdoors.
Air Quality Health Advisories are issued when DEC meteorologists predict that pollution levels, specifically ozone or fine particulate matter, are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index value 100. In this case, the wildfires in Canada are believed to be the primary source of the pollution affecting New York state.
On Sunday, Governor Kathy Hochul expressed concerns that the unhealthy air from the Canadian wildfires was expected to affect parts of northern and western New York state on Monday. She emphasized that the air quality index in these areas could range from 100 to 150, well above the normal range of 0 to 50.
Governor Hochul cautioned residents and highlighted the potential for the air quality alert to expand to more populated regions, as seen in previous instances.
During a news conference addressing heavy rain and flooding, Governor Hochul compared the current situation to a few weeks prior when similar air quality degradation occurred due to the Canadian wildfires.
She also acknowledged the return of the latest cohort of Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Rangers who had been assisting Canada in fighting the flames, reaffirming New York’s commitment to continue providing support.
The governor expressed gratitude towards the brave firefighters involved in the containment efforts and emphasized the understanding New Yorkers have regarding the hazardous impact of smoke from the Canadian wildfires on their daily lives.
The ongoing collaboration between New York and Canada aims to mitigate the adverse effects of wildfires and protect affected communities.
In conclusion, the air quality alert in New York State is a response to the impact of Canadian wildfires, which have resulted in unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups. Officials are urging caution and emphasizing the potential for the alert to expand to other regions.
New York continues to provide assistance to Canada in their wildfire containment efforts, showcasing solidarity and commitment to protecting communities affected by the fires.