LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – If you live in the North Country or Adirondacks, you may have noticed some haze in the sky on Tuesday morning. Warren County says the reason for the cloudy visuals comes from across the northernmost border.
The county Department of Public Health put a notice on Facebook on Tuesday morning highlighting hazy conditions in the sky around some parts of the North Country, turning the sun blurry and the sky pale. The department pointed to wildfires coming from western Canada, with smoke following jet streams to hit the Adirondacks.
Over the last week or more, wildfires in and around the Canadian province of Alberta have torched at least 964,000 acres of forest, causing evacuations and creating an enormous amount of smoke. Although north of a different part of the U.S., the smoke finds its way through changing air channels.
The AirNow Fire and Smoke Map draws the path, showing how smoke-filled air travels north from Alberta, arcing north-to-northwest across Canada’s northern territories. Wider, spread-out expanses of the smoke collect as they head south across Ontario before arriving in New York – hitting northwest parts of the Adirondacks first and foremost.
The good news is, the air quality isn’t taking a severe hit. AirNow rates air quality “Good” (indicated by a green dot) throughout New York. The only areas where the air is ranked “unhealthy” (in red) are around the epicenter of the burning. Even so, Warren County says that vulnerable residents should take caution if they see the remnants blowing in the local air.
“We recommend that those with respiratory concerns, such as asthma or COPD, and the elderly avoid rigorous activity outside when there are air quality concerns, such as during wildfire haze impacts or extreme heat during the summer,” said Warren County Health Services Director Ginelle Jones. “Thankfully the current wildfire impact is not severe, as New York air quality is currently viewed as ‘good’ by reporting stations around the state, but wildfire impacts can lead to air quality issues depending on weather conditions.”
The Environmental Protection Agency has linked various health detriments to particles sent airborne by wildfires. Those include cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses and conditions.