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New York residents urged to limit outdoor activity amid haze from Canada wildfires

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Jun 10 2023 12:47 AM

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The smoky haze from Canadian wildfires not only blanketed the Big Apple to near zero visibility, but also placed New York on top of the list of most polluted major cities in the world.

Zachary Iscol, NYC's emergency management commissioner, said the smoke from the wildfires continues to impact the air quality in the city and throughout the northeast coast.

U.S. President Joe Biden has also ordered the deployment of more firefighters to Canada to help put out the blaze.

As a result, New York City Mayor Eric Adams urged residents to limit their outdoor activity.

"We are encouraging New Yorkers to stay home indoors whenever possible, especially our vulnerable New Yorkers," he said.

Adams adds, the dangerously high levels of wildfire smoke choking the city is climate change-related.

"This is climate change in action," he said. "We must continue to draw down emissions, improve air quality, and build resiliency."

Operations at the Philippine Consulate in New York have also been affected.

The Consul General suspended operations on June 8 for the safety and wellbeing of Filipinos and its staff.

But some New Yorkers were undeterred, saying life goes on despite the poor air quality index.

"It's my first time to experience, to see such thick smoke," said Jubert Ong, a resident. "I think the last time I saw this much was back in 2001 during the 9/11 incident."

The New York City Government has also recommended the wearing of face masks for those outside, especially for members of the vulnerable groups.