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US National Weather Service warns smoky haze likely to persist for days across the US, Canada

The thick, hazardous haze blanketing the Northeast disrupting daily life for millions of people across the U.S. and Canada could persist until the weekend, a U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist said. 

The weather system that’s driving the great Canadian-American smoke out,  a low-pressure system over Maine and Nova Scotia, “will probably be hanging around at least for the next few days,” U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Ramsey said.

“Conditions are likely to remain unhealthy, at least until the wind direction changes or the fires get put out,” Ramsey said. “Since the fires are raging — they’re really large — they’re probably going to continue for weeks. But it’s really just going to be all about the wind shift.”

“Conditions are likely to remain unhealthy, at least until the wind direction changes or the fires get put out.”

— Bryan Ramsey, U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist

Man take picture with phone

People take photos as smoke from the wildfires in Canada cause hazy conditions in New York City on June 7, 2023. (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

The weather system is expected to hardly budge, the smoky blanket billowing from wildfires in Quebec and Nova Scotia and sending plumes of fine particulate matter as far away as South Carolina.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered schools to cancel outdoor recess, sports and field trips Thursday. In suburban Philadelphia, officials set up an emergency shelter so people living outside can take refuge from the haze.

Yellow, orange haze

An orange-tinged smog caused by Canada’s wildfires shrouded New York on Wednesday, obscuring its famous skyscrapers and causing residents to don face masks, as cities along the US East Coast issued air quality alerts.  (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

People take pictures of the haze

People take photos of the sun as smoke from the wildfires in Canada cause hazy conditions in New York City on June 7, 2023. Smoke from Canada’s wildfires has engulfed the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US, raising concerns over the harms of persistent poor air quality.  (ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

New York Governor Kathy Hochul called the situation an “emergency crisis.” 

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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