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Canadian Wildfires Push U.S. Air Quality To Dangerous Levels

Detroit, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. among cities with worst air quality globally.

Smoke from Canadian wildfires infiltrated major U.S. cities once again, worsening air quality for millions of Americans. 

Detroit, Chicago and Washington, D.C., were three of the 15 cities with the worst air quality cities in the world on Monday, according to IQAir’s rankings. 

A general view of downtown Chicago seen from Wrigley Field during the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Red Sox on July 16, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois. The city of Chicago is under an air quality alert through Sunday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires. (MICHAEL REAVES/GETTY IMAGES) 

The National Weather Service issued a warning for those living in the affected parts of Michigan and described the air quality as “moderate.” 

Earlier the summer, Canada’s wildfires had affected the air quality in the northern U.S. where New York City saw the worst air quality in years.

The Yankees-White Sox game at Yankee Stadium was postponed due to the quality of the air forcing New York Residents to stay indoors.

This was slightly better than the air quality in Detroit a few weeks ago in late June, when Detroit and Chicago were ranked as the two cities with the worst air quality in the world, according to IQAir. At that time, the air quality in the Midwestern cities fell into the “hazardous” category. 

People wore facial masks on June 7, 2023, because of bad air quality brought in by smoke of Canadian wildfires. Authorities urge people to wear masks, all outdoor activities for school children were canceled as well as regular baseball game at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and White Sox. (LEV RADIN/ANADOLU AGENCY VIA GETTY IMAGES)

For reference, the air quality in Chicago and Detroit was worse than in cities such as Beijing, China or Baghdad, Iraq, two of the most polluted cities in the world. Los Angeles and New York City also both had better air quality on Monday than Chicago and Detroit.

Canadian officials have said that 2023 is one of, if not the worst, year every in terms of wildfires, according to The Washington Post. 

Fires continued to blaze in British Columbia and Alberta, with natural wind currents sending smoke down south to the northern U.S., around Minnesota, then more south and east to major metropolitan areas in the U.S. 

The experts in Canada expected smoke to remain a concern throughout the rest of the summer, for as long as the fires are burning.

Weeks ago, the Canadian fires were predominantly in the eastern part of the country, near Quebec and Ontario, and now Canada’s west side was seeing an uptick of forest fires near British Columbia.

U.S. personnel will continue to monitor further detail to issue warnings across the country

Produced in association with Benzinga

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