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    Tri-State air quality to again be impacted by smoke from wildfires in Canada


    NEW YORK (WABC) — The air quality in the Tri-State will again be negatively affected by smoke from wildfires in Canada.

    Gov. Kathy Hochul’s administration has issued an air quality health advisory for Wednesday for the Eastern Lake Ontario, Central New York, and Western New York regions as more than 300 wildfires continue to burn up north.

    “If you want to know the effects of climate change, you are going to feel it tomorrow in real time,” Hochul said during a briefing Tuesday. “This is not something we are talking about future generations dealing with it. We are truly the first generation dealing with the real effects of climate change and we are also the last generation to do anything meaningful about it.”

    The air quality index, which Gov. Hochul recommends checking at AirNow.gov, on Tuesday showed the city entering the moderate range over 50.

    New York City Mayor Eric Adams tweeted that the air in New York City is expected to be impacted starting Wednesday.

    The air quality in the city is expected to continue to degrade into Thursday.

    Meteorologist Jeff Smith said the near-surface smoke forecast shows the smoke is expected to wrap around the system Wednesday, circulating around the northeast of the U.S., but leaving the New York City metro area in a sort of “donut hole” with mostly clear air.

    On Thursday as the system pushes towards the ocean, some of the near-surface smoke is expected to get into western New York.

    The air quality will begin to degrade and may reach levels which will be unhealthy for sensitive groups.

    Wind coming in from the northwest could mean the air quality could continue to worsen into later Thursday and early Friday.

    Last time the air quality was impacted by wildfire smoke, Mount Sinai pulmonologist Dr. Barbara Mann got extra calls and visits.

    “The best thing to do is to keep an eye on the actual objective number of the air quality index,” Mann said. “For above 150 of an air quality index, really everybody should stay home as much as possible. If you have to go out to do errands, that’s ok, but I wouldn’t do outdoor activities.”

    Dr. Mann says wearing a mask is a good idea in the subway, where air quality is going to be worse than whatever is outside.

    “Just being outside you may feel some chest tightness or sore throat or eye tearing,” she said. “Those are not as big a concern, they’re uncomfortable and you want to avoid it, but it’s really the patients that have underlying conditions that we worry about.”

    The governor is asking summer camps to limit outdoor activity for kids as the numbers rise, and for employers to limit work time outdoors for employees and provide masks.

    One difference this time is that weather conditions were bone dry back on June 7. Now, it’s hot and muggy.

    “It’s sort of a double whammy that way, because you’re getting the higher ozone layers from the heat and humidity,” Mann said. “You’re also getting the small particles from the smoke. So yes, when it’s hot and humid and you have the wildfire smoke, it’s extra concerning, so you want to be extra cautious on those days.”

    Those particles that can be problematic when they get into your bloodstream. A KN95 or N95 mask can help keep them out of your lungs and if you leave home without one, the governor says the MTA will make N95s available at transit hubs like Grand Central and Penn Station in the next couple of days.

    Air Quality Tracker | ABC7 Air Quality Tracker

    air quality alert new york canada wildfire

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