VIDEO: Canada wildfires shroud New York in apocalyptic haze - GulfToday

VIDEO: Canada wildfires shroud New York in apocalyptic haze

People take photos of the sun as smoke from the wildfires in Canada cause hazy conditions in New York City. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Haze from wildfires ravaging Canada shrouded New York City on Wednesday, prompting cities along the US East Coast to issue air pollution warnings as thousands evacuated their homes in Canada.

The devastating fires have caused more than 20,000 people to flee their homes, and some 3.8 million hectares of land have burned in Canada, with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau calling this wildfire the worst ever in the country.

The US Environmental Protection Agency said that more than 100 million people throughout the northeastern US, west to Chicago, and south to Atlanta, received warnings of pollution after the arrival of smoke from the fires from Canada.

Clouds of smoke blanketed New York's iconic skyscrapers, delaying flights and delaying sporting events.

"It smells like barbecue," said Nisha Swaetianon, a tourist from Thailand in New York City.

Mayor Eric Adams asked New Yorkers to limit outdoor activities, saying, "This is not a day to train for a marathon."

All outdoor activity was suspended in public schools in New York City, as smog shrouded the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.

The Federal Aviation Administration announced that it has reduced flights to and from the city's airports, due to low visibility.

US President Joe Biden wrote on Twitter that more than 600 firefighters, as well as other personnel and equipment, have been sent to Canada to help control the fires.

In turn, Quebec Premier Francois Legault said that more than 11,000 people have been evacuated in the province so far, and more people are expected to be evacuated in the coming hours.

Biden spoke with Trudeau on Wednesday and offered "additional support to address the devastating and historic wildfires," according to the White House.

Trudeau said he thanked Biden and wrote on Twitter: "These fires are affecting daily life, livelihoods and our air quality. We will continue to work to address climate change and deal with its impacts."

Emergency crisis

Scientists have warned that rising temperatures increase the risk of extreme weather events, including heat waves and droughts that often cause wildfires.

White House spokeswoman Karen Jean-Pierre said the situation was "a disturbing example of the ways the climate crisis is affecting our lives."

According to, which tracks air quality around the world, New York - often known for its clear skies - had the worst air quality index of any major city in the world.

Hugh Hill, 43, a lawyer, said his throat was hurting because of the noxious smoke, which he likened to the smell of burning wood.

Like many New Yorkers, he chose to cover his face while walking his dog in Central Park, the green lung of Manhattan.

Cough all day

Thousands of people in parts of Canada hardest hit by the fires are preparing to leave their homes in search of safety.

South of the border, many areas of the United States received air pollution warnings and a wide range of public activities were affected.

Major League Baseball postponed Wednesday's game between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox, as well as the Phillies' home game against the Detroit Tigers, due to poor air quality.


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