Blog: Air quality in parts of the US plummets as Canadian wildfires rage

Thousands forced to evacuate in Canada
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 4:29 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Canada is experiencing the worst wildfire season in recent years.

Wildfires are not uncommon in the summertime in the country, but this year weeks of hot and dry conditions have led to a surge of activity.

Over 200 wildfires have burned nearly 74 square miles across Canada. Alberta, Quebec, and Nova Scotia have seen the most fire activity since April.

Smoke rises from a wildfire near Barrington Lake in Nova Scotia's Shelburne County.
Smoke rises from a wildfire near Barrington Lake in Nova Scotia's Shelburne County.(MGN)

Thousands of people have evacuated their homes since the fires began, and the flames have destroyed dozens of properties.

This weekend a rainy pattern and cooler temperatures helped with the firefight in Nova Scotia where firefighters have been battling blazes consuming more than 25-thousand acres.

In Quebec, approximately 400 firefighters are on the ground battling fires according to the province’s Fire Protection Agency.

Air quality alerts
Air quality alerts(WVUE)

Smoke from the expansive wildfires has drifted farther south, impairing air quality across the US. Air quality alerts span the northern US and even farther south into areas like Maryland and Virginia.

We could see some of the smoke travel down into our region later this week as a cold front brings the air mass to the Gulf Coast Thursday and Friday. We will likely see hazy skies and may see impaired air quality as the smoke is carried into the area.

Smoke forecast
Smoke forecast(WVUE)

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