Canada wildfire smoke triggers air quality alerts in Northeastern US
Smoke from the raging Tantallon wildfire burning in Canada has led to an air quality alert in the Northeastern US, reaching different states.
Plumes of smoke are heading across the Northeastern US from southeastern Canada's Nova Scotia Province as a result of scorching wildfires, and air quality alerts are on in several cities.
For weeks, fires have been burning in Canada as the country experiences high temperatures and unusual wildfire smoke, which is currently heading toward the US, even though the Northwestern states are not usually affected.
Studies show that climate change is leading to larger, more intense, and more frequent wildfires, and described the smoke from these fires as hazardous due to its harmful microscopic particles.
The smoke reached New York, Maine, and Connecticut, strongly affecting Rhode Island and Massachusetts, where air quality alerts were issued.
Some in Boston reported that they were able to "smell burning" from the Halifax fire that destroyed over 150 homes and forced around 16,500 residents to evacuate.
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Air quality alerts reached parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania on Wednesday, and the National Weather Service warned on Tuesday night that winds could "bring some of this smoke into the Mid-Atlantic region."
Yesterday, wildfires in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia ravaged buildings and forced 14,000 people to flee their homes, prompting local officials to declare a state of emergency.
Halifax fire deputy chief, David Meldrum, told reporters, “Our firefighters worked very hard in very dangerous conditions," adding that the affected community of Tantallon was “ongoing and still not under control”.
The “really hot, really fast” blaze turned into a five-alarm blaze, “which is the first use of a fifth alarm that many of us can remember”, according to Meldrum, who added that the number of destroyed structures remains unclear.
The state of emergency is set to last for a week, and with no rainfall expected soon, local officials are hoping that winds will push the fire backward but said that “significant fire” could still be a threat with unburned fuels in the area igniting.