New York finds itself on guard once again as the looming threat of wildfire smoke from Canada is expected to descend upon us.

Early projections and warnings from Canadian officials indicate the potential for early and above-normal fire activity, sparking concerns about the return of haze and compromised air quality in the Empire State.

Facing an Ongoing Challenge

Glenn McGillivray, managing director at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction says that New Yorkers may have to adapt to a new reality of living with wildfires. With the record-breaking 18 million hectares burned in Canada last year, McGillivray cautions that while the number of fires may not have significantly increased, the prevalence of large-scale fires has become a major concern.

Early Projections for 2024

Canadian Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, warns of the potential for early and above-normal fire activity due to ongoing drought, warmer temperatures, and drier forecasts. The uncertainty lies in which areas of Canada will be affected by these wildfires, but the rapid circulation of smoke remains a constant threat.

Protective Measures

In response to the potential return of wildfire smoke, experts recommend certain measures to minimize health risks. Individuals are encouraged to use air conditioners or air filters to improve indoor air quality in hazy environments.

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Community leaders are advised to consider opening clean air spaces for residents to seek an escape when their homes lack proper air filtration. Additionally, it is imperative to pay attention to air quality alerts and limit outdoor activities during periods of compromised air quality.

Mitigating Damage and Prevention

Efforts to mitigate the impact of wildfires include prescribed burns in fire-prone areas. However, the focus remains on preventing fires from encroaching upon communities and minimizing the infiltration of smoke. These measures aim to protect public health and maintain the well-being of affected communities.

Unbelievable Time Lapse of Wildfire Smoke Consuming New York City

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Gallery Credit: AJ Brewster

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