New York City experienced elevated pollution levels on Tuesday night, making it the most polluted major city in the world, according to the IQAir website. The city was enveloped in haze due to smoke from the ongoing Canadian wildfires. The pollution levels were categorized as “unhealthy,” surpassing those in Delhi, India, and Baghdad, Iraq, at 1:25 a.m. New York time, as reported by the Swiss air quality company.
The impact of the unprecedented wildfires in Canada extended beyond New York City, affecting other North American cities as well. Detroit was particularly affected by the smoke. In response to the deteriorating air quality, New York City Mayor Eric Adams issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for all five boroughs. Although conditions were expected to improve by Wednesday morning, a further decline in air quality was predicted later in the day.
Taking precautionary measures, Mayor Adams urged New Yorkers to limit their outdoor activities as much as possible to safeguard their health. The US Air Quality Index for New York reached a level of 222 on its 0-500 scale at 01:05 a.m., indicating “very unhealthy” air quality.
The Canadian wildfire season is on track to become the worst in history if the current burning rate continues. Government officials have reported that approximately 3.3 million hectares (8.2 million acres) have already been scorched by the wildfires. Presently, 413 fires are active, leading to the evacuation of 26,000 Canadians from their homes.
Efforts are underway to combat the wildfires and mitigate their effects on air quality. As the situation develops, authorities will closely monitor pollution levels and take necessary actions to protect the health and well-being of residents.