Washington, Jun 29 (EFE).- Cities across the northeastern and midwestern United States awoke Thursday to haze and smoke from more than 480 wildfires in Canada.
As of mid-day Thursday, the air quality in Washington, DC was the worst in the world, according to website IQAir, whose top 10 list also included Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis and New York City.
Authorities here in the US capital declared a code red, urging people to remain indoors as much as possible and warning of health risks from fine particulate matter (PM2.5) that can be inhaled into the lungs.
Face masks were recommended for those who had to venture out.
In all, more than 120 million US residents were under air quality alerts, though the situation was expected to improve as the day wore on.
And conditions were not as bad as those on June 8, when both Washington and New York experienced their worst-ever air quality readings and the haze rendered landmarks such as the US Capitol and the Empire State Building invisible.
Canadian authorities classify 255 fires as out of control and the flames have consumed 80,000 sq km (31,000 sq mi) of forest since the start of 2023, more than the total for an average year.