Our neighbors north of the border have been causing some air quality issues once again in New Jersey and surrounding areas. The hazy and smoky conditions have caused poor air quality via Canadian wildfires today (June 7) and could worsen later today, the National Weather Service said, per NJ.com.
According to the outlet, forecasters predict that “an additional plume of thick smoke should spread south into the area later this afternoon and evening.”
The Weather Service recommends New Jerseyans limit their time outside Wednesday. It is also suggested that if you go outside, wear a mask to restrict any respiratory system irritability.
The air quality, hazy skies, reduced visibility, and the smell of burning wood is likely to linger for several days in northern states, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency per ABC7.
“It’s not unusual for us to get fire smoke in our area. It’s very typical in terms of northwest Canada,” said Darren Austin, a meteorologist and senior air quality specialist with the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. He added that the smoke at this time has not affected people’s health.
Dr. Jack Caravanos, an environmental health expert at NYU who studies environmental toxins and pollution, spoke to the outlet about the Canadian wildfires. He says the air quality “is three times worse than normal.”
“As time goes on, the air inside a building will ultimately equal the air outside, so for homes, restaurants, delicatessens, the air quality inside will pretty much match the air quality outside, especially as this thing goes on for a few days,” Caravanos said.
Kids are recommended to stay inside since they are “susceptible to smoke for a number of reasons,” said Laura Kate Bender, the American Lung Association‘s National Assistant Vice President, Healthy Air. “Their lungs are still developing, they breathe in more air per unit of body weight.”
In addition to the Canadian wildfires disrupting the air quality in the Garden State, we’ve had a set of our own. Even today, a wildfire in Jackson which has been 70% contained as of Wednesday morning erupted. About 30 structures were in danger in the area of East Commodore Boulevard and Cedar Swamp Road, the state forest fire service said late Tuesday.
As of Wednesday morning, the following has reopened:
- Exit 21 on Interstate 195
- East Commodore Boulevard
- Cedar Swamp Road
- Jackson Mills Road