Disasters & Accidents

Wildfire smoke causes air quality to plummet in Canada

Toronto, Canada, Jun 6 (EFE).- The smoke from hundreds of wildfires in eastern Canada is causing a dramatic drop in the air quality of some of the country’s main cities.

On Tuesday, the Meteorological Service of Canada placed the Canadian capital, Ottawa, at the worst level of its air quality index and urged people to remain indoors as much as possible, especially the elderly, children and those with respiratory diseases.

Toronto, the country’s most populated city, was covered all day by a layer of haze, while the smell of smoke permeated the entire city.

The same scenes were repeated in Montreal and Quebec City.

The impact of the fires extended beyond the Canadian borders as smoke also affected parts of the neighboring United States, including New York City on Tuesday.

Canadian authorities have warned that they do not expect air quality to improve for several days.

The smoke covering much of Canada is the result of the more than 400 active fires in the country, some 150 of them in Quebec, a much higher than usual number for this time of year.

There have already been 2,200 forest fires this year that have burned 3.3 million hectares of forest and vegetation, more than 10 times the average area devastated over the past decade.

The Canadian government has warned that weather forecasts for the summer, which predict dry conditions and very high temperatures, suggest that the country could see one of its worst wildfire seasons this year. EFE


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