NEW YORK — New Yorkers woke up Tuesday to a yellowish tinge to the sky, hazy conditions and a bright orange sun — and the cause of these conditions was a bit sinister.
Wildfire smoke from the west arrived in the tri-state area Tuesday morning, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration imaging shows.
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation issued an Air Quality Alert for New York City, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley from 10 a.m. to midnight.
According to the NOAA, record heat and drought across the western United States has increased the risk for wildfires this summer.
In Oregon, firefighters continued to battle a massive 537-square-mile wildfire dubbed the Bootleg Fire.
However, the Bootleg Fire is one of many burning in a dozen states. Sixteen large uncontained fires burned in Oregon and Washington state alone on Monday.
Extremely dry conditions and heat waves tied to climate change have made wildfires harder to fight. Climate change has made the West much warmer and drier in the past 30 years and will continue to make weather more extreme and wildfires more frequent and destructive.
And in Northern California, authorities expanded evacuations on the Tamarack Fire in Alpine County in the Sierra Nevada to include the mountain town of Mesa Vista. That fire, which exploded over the weekend and forced the cancellation of an extreme bike ride, was 36 square miles with no containment.
Back in New York, the hazy conditions from the drifting wildfire smoke was expected to last throughout the day Tuesday and may linger further into the week.