Western wildfire smoke is contributing to New York City’s worst air quality in years

Western wildfire smoke is contributing to New York City's worst air quality in years

Extreme heat and dry conditions are fueling raging wildfires in the western US, charring more than a million acres, requiring evacuations, and creating smoky conditions visible from space. Additionally, due to high winds, smoke from the West Coast wildfires stretched to the East Coast, including New York City. 

The smoke mixed down to the surface in New York City, creating an eerie scene. The city had a 24-hour average Air Quality Index of 154 on Tuesday, the worst it’s been since June 2006, when the AQI was 157.

In the West, the fires have caused power outages, destroyed structures, and prompted the deployment of the Oregon National Guard. As extreme drought still grips most of the West and the fires have become so intense they’ve created their own weather systems, the threat of more fires remains.

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