CHICAGO – (AP) – Drifting smoke billowing Forest fire Haze is blanketing much of Canada and raising air quality concerns throughout the Great Lakes region and parts of the central and eastern United States.
Environmental Protection Agency airnow.gov The site showed that parts of Illinois, lower Michigan and southern Wisconsin had the worst air quality in the US on Tuesday afternoon, and air quality in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee was classified as “very unhealthy”.
In Minnesota, a record 23rd air quality alert was issued for much of the state late Tuesday into Wednesday as smoky skies obscured the skylines of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Michigan’s Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy issued an air quality alert for the entire state. Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources also issued an air quality advisory for the state.
In Chicago, officials urged youth, the elderly and residents with health problems to spend more time indoors.
Shelley Woinowski, who visited the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, said, “Driving by the zoo… you can see all around the buildings, just like a mist.”
Some Chicago-area day care centers have told parents their children will stay indoors Tuesday because of poor air quality, while a youth sports club says it has reduced its activities to allow more time indoors. has been adjusted.
Mayor Brandon Johnson said in a release, “As these unsafe conditions continue, the City will continue to provide updates and take swift action to ensure vulnerable individuals have the resources they need to protect themselves and their families “
In the Milwaukee area, Flight for Life Wisconsin was unable to respond to a motorcycle-van accident because the Federal Aviation Administration requires 2 miles (3.2 km) of visibility, and visibility three-quarters to 1.5 miles (1.2–2.4 km) had reduced till ) due to hazy skies, said executive director Leif Eriksson.
National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Jackson said fires in northern Quebec and low pressure over the eastern Great Lakes are causing smoke to spread into northern Michigan and southern Wisconsin and Chicago.
Jackson said northerly winds will push the smoke south, moving into Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky later Tuesday and into the night.
The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center reported Monday that 76,129 square kilometers (29,393 square miles) of land, including Forests burn across Canada As of January 1, according to the National Forestry Database, this exceeds the previous record of 75,596 square kilometers (29,187 sq mi) in 1989.
Nationally, 490 fires are currently burning, of which 255 are considered out of control.
Even recent rain in Quebec will not be enough to extinguish wildfires in the northern part of that province, officials said Tuesday, but wet weather could give firefighters a chance to bring the blaze under control.
About a quarter of the fires that burn in Canada occur in Quebec. Environment Canada meteorologist Simon Legault said he expected the rain to stop by Wednesday morning in the areas most affected by the wildfires.
earlier this month, A massive fire is burning a large part of Canada’s forests Covered the northeastern United States and the Great Lakes region, turning the air yellow-brown and warning people to stay inside and keep windows closed.
small particles in wildfire smoke There may be irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, and effects on the heart and lungs, which can make breathing difficult. Health officials say it is important to limit outdoor activities as much as possible to avoid inhaling these particles.
“Until the fire is out, the risk remains,” Jackson said. “If there is a northern component in the air, chances are it will be smoky.”
In early June, US President Joe Biden said in a statement that hundreds of US firefighters and aid workers have been in Canada since May, and drew attention to the fires as a reminder of the effects of climate change.
According to Joel Thornton, professor and chair of the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Washington, a warming planet will cause hotter and longer heat waves, which will lead to bigger, smoky fires.
Preeti Marwah, who was starting the race along the city’s lakefront, describes Tuesday’s smog in Chicago as “bad.”
“Like, you might find it smells bad,” she said. “I run a hundred miles a week, so it’s going to be dangerous today. You can feel it… even parking there and coming out, I can feel it in my lungs. ‘
Wildfire smoke drifted into Minnesota late Monday, and ground-level smoke is expected to remain in southern, east-central and northeastern Minnesota. It includes the Twin Cities area, up to the northeast corner of the state, and up to the southwest and southeast corners.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency tweeted that Tuesday was the 23rd air quality alert issued in Minnesota this year, breaking the previous record of 21 in 2021. Minnesota usually has an average of two or three alerts a season.
St. Paul recorded the worst air quality in the United States two weeks ago due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. As of Tuesday afternoon, air quality in eastern Minnesota from the Canadian border to the Iowa border was rated “unhealthy.”
The MPCA said a cold wind will move into Minnesota on Wednesday, bringing clean air from the west across the region through early Thursday.
But on Tuesday, for Dan Daly, a resident of St. Louis Park, Minnesota, there was no sense of relief to come.
“Some days are a bit sore because you can’t spend much time outside,” he said.
Daley said when he left the house this morning he smelled and tasted smoke in the air. He noticed cloudy skies and wondered whether this would be ideal for future summers in the region. When the air quality makes it unhealthy to be outside, Daly has a hard time doing the things she loves like hiking, camping, and walking around town.
He worries that people in other parts of the country who haven’t experienced days with poor air quality will think it’s no big deal. Daly said, “If they think the smoke isn’t that bad, they should come here and see it for themselves.”
Ahmed reported from Minneapolis. AP reporters Steve Karnowski in Minneapolis, Corey Williams in Detroit and Ken Kusmer in Indianapolis contributed to the story.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any way without permission.