Smoke from wildfires keeps air quality to lows in Canada

Canadian authorities warned Thursday that smoke from hundreds of active forest fires in the east and west of the country will cause the air quality in large areas of the country to falls back to levels of high health risk.

Although air quality improved early Thursday, the Canadian Weather Service predicted that the gauge would drop back to levels of “high risk” in cities like Toronto throughout the day.

In the Greater Toronto Area, home to more than six million people, one seventh of Canada’s population, authorities are recommending that older people, children and people with health problems reduce outdoor activities that a physical effort.

Meanwhile, of the around 400 forest fires that are still active in the country, almost half are out of control. Only in the province of Quebec there are 150 forest fires whose smoke is responsible for the drastic reduction in air quality in cities such as Toronto, New York, Philadelphia or Washington.

The latest data from the Canadian authorities indicate that since January, the flames have consumed 3.8 million hectares of forest when the average since 1990 is that forest fires burn a total of 2.5 million hectares per year.

Kent Moore, professor of Physics at the University of Toronto, and an expert in meteorology and climate change, told EFE on Thursday that “There is no doubt that climate change is fueling the increase in fires this year”combined with extremely dry weather conditions in eastern Canada.

Moore added that conditions will worsen in the coming years, especially in the northernmost regions of the planet, so the cycles of large forest fires will accelerate.

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