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Friday, December 1, 2023

New York facing ‘unprecedented event’ as wildfire smoke blankets city

Mayor Eric Adams urges residents to 'stay inside, close windows and doors, and use air purifiers if you have them'

New York City is in the midst of an “unprecedented event” as smoke from raging wildfires in Canada envelopes the US’s largest city, Mayor Eric Adams warned on Wednesday.

Adams urged New Yorkers to “take precautions” as they go about their daily lives after the air quality index hit 218 on Tuesday night before moderating slightly to 174 in the Bronx on Wednesday morning.

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All five of the city’s boroughs are under air quality advisories, and the city is calling on all residents to limit their exposure to the outdoors and vulnerable people to remain indoors.

“This is not the day to train for a marathon or to do an outside event with your children. Stay inside, close windows and doors, and use air purifiers if you have them,” Adams said.

“If you are older or have heart or breathing problems or are an older adult, you should remain inside. And if you must go outdoors, wear high-quality masks, such as a K-95.”

Schools remain open, but all outdoor activities have been canceled.

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Images captured by Anadolu videographers and photographers show the city blanketed by an orangish haze, with typically prominent major landmarks such as the Empire State Building barely visible. The city’s iconic skyline can barely be made out amid the gloomy conditions.

Canada has been battling wildfires since the beginning of May, with more than 400 still active, according to Canadian authorities. Over half of the infernos are burning out of control as the US sends additional support to quell the blazes, including more than 600 firefighters and water bombers.

Around 9.4 million acres of land have burned and more than 20,000 people have been evacuated.