NEW YORK (PIX11) — Canadian wildfires are still posing dangerous risks throughout New York City and the surrounding areas despite being hundreds of miles away.
City officials are calling the air quality hazardous and are urging New Yorkers to stay inside if possible and mask up once outdoors.
One million N95 masks will be given out Thursday at transportation hubs throughout the boroughs including Grand Central Terminal, Penn Station, the Fulton Center, Jamaica Station in Queens, and Roberto Clemente State Park in the Bronx.
The Air Quality Index in New York City hit 484 at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Mayor Eric Adams said during a briefing. The index tops out at 500 and anything above 301 is considered “hazardous.”
The smoky blanket billowing from wildfires in Quebec and Nova Scotia and sending plumes of fine particulate matter as far away as North Carolina should persist into Thursday and possibly the weekend.
That means at least another day, or more, of a dystopian-style detour that’s chased players from ballfields, actors from Broadway stages, delayed thousands of flights, and sparked a resurgence in mask-wearing and remote work — all while raising concerns about the health effects of prolonged exposure to such bad air.
Federal officials paused some flights bound Wednesday for New York’s LaGuardia Airport and slowed planes to Newark and Philadelphia because the smoke was limiting visibility.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.