Millions of people in the United States are under air quality warnings as smoke from wildfires in Canada continues to drift south, The smoke has been blamed for hazy skies decreased visibility and respiratory problems in many parts of the country.
The air quality is particularly bad in the Northeast where smoke has been trapped by high pressure systems, The EPA has issued a “Code Orange” air quality alert for New York City which means the air quality is unhealthy for sensitive groups such as children the elderly and people with respiratory problems.
The smoke is also affecting parts of the Midwest and the Great Lakes region, The EPA has issued “Code Yellow” air quality alerts for portions of Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan.
The wildfires in Canada are the worst in the nation’s history, More than 1,000 fires are burning across the country and over 1.2 million acres have been scorched, The fires have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes and have caused millions of dollars in damages.
The cause of the wildfires is still under investigation but experts believe climate change is playing a part, The fires were exacerbated by hot dry weather and high winds.
The smoke from the wildfires is expected to continue drifting south for the next few days, People in affected areas are advised to remain indoors avoid strenuous activity and wear a mask if they must go outside.
Here are a few tips for staying safe if you are under an air quality alert:
* Stay indoor as much as possible.
* If you must go out wear a mask.
*Avoid strenuous activities.
*Drink plenty of liquids.
* Take breaks from the smoke filled air often.
* If you have respiratory issues talk to your doctor about how to protect yourself.