New York World’s Worst Air Quality City As Wildfires Rage

Thursday, June 8, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

NEW YORK (Worthy News) – New York City had the worst air quality rating of any major city in the world Thursday, forcing artists to interrupt or cancel their performances in the famed Broadway theaters while authorities urged people to remain doors.

The heavy smoke linked to wildfires in nearby Canada also spread to Washington D.C. on Thursday as the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCG) issued a “Code Purple,” meaning the air is unhealthy for all people.

It was not immediately clear how much the unhealthy air had impacted operations in key government sites such as the White House, the U.S. Congress, and the Pentagon.

The Nationals baseball game was postponed, the National Zoo closed for the day, and schools have moved recess indoors as smoke from Canada’s devastating wildfires moved south.

At least 13 U.S. states have issued air quality alerts, impacting 115 million people. More than 400 wildfires are raging in Canada, which have led to mass evacuations in Quebec province.

Canadian officials warned that this could be the country’s worst wildfire season on record, with over 6.7 million acres already scorched.

Back in New York City, the nation’s largest city and one of the world’s leading financial centers,
Emmy-winning actress Jodie Comer, star of the Broadway play “Prima Facie,” was forced to bow out of a matinee performance because the air quality in New York compromised her breathing, officials said.


“Today’s matinee of ‘Prima Facie’ was halted approximately 10 minutes into the performance after Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing due to the poor air quality in New York City because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires,” added Jim Byk, a representative for the play, in a statement.

Comer’s understudy Dani Arlington filled in for the actress in her absence. Climate change-fearing scientists say global temperature rise, caused by emissions from burning fossil fuels, is leading to larger, more frequent wildfires worldwide.

Other experts have expressed doubts about human-caused climate change, citing historical records showing natural changes in weather patterns.

However, there appeared to be agreement Thursday that hot and dry conditions triggered an intense and early start to wildfire season in Canada’s Alberta province. Since Wednesday, 91 wildfires have been burning in the forest protection area of Alberta, including 27 out of control, authorities said.

Firefighters from Canada and the U.S. battled raging blazes that prompted evacuations, disrupted rail service, and shut energy production in Canada’s central oil-producing province.

Ironically a cold front this week eased what climate experts called “historically high temperatures” and helped firefighting, which led authorities to lift some evacuation orders on Tuesday. The number of evacuees dropped to about 12,000 from a peak of more than 30,000 people earlier this month, Alberta officials said at a briefing.

However, the cold front also brought strong winds that carried wildfire smoke to neighboring provinces and left a large part of Western Canada with poor air quality. And a lack of rain and higher temperatures forecast for later this week mean conditions for wildfires remain highly volatile, Alberta’s Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis told reporters.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden by phone had thanked him for the American firefighters on the scene and the additional help from the United States.

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