The Western Wildfires Are Affecting People 3,000 Miles Away
By Emily Gu
Western wildfires are a big problem, and we know that already- but it could be even bigger than we previously thought.
Smoke has travelled all the way from the source to the eastern states, coating them in foggy gray air. Smoke causes many harmful health problems, including trouble breathing and others.
The smoke has travelled nearly 3,000 miles to reach some major cities, including Philadelphia and New York. It has even reached some of the eastern parts of Canada.
It was the second year in a row, to have smoke reach the eastern areas. Not only that, but very deep into the states. This sight is sadly becoming more and more common, due to climate change.
Julie Malingowski, an emergency response meteorologist, has told NPR that the smoke which was pushed up into the atmosphere was now coming down onto the eastern states.
The result of the spread of smoke was a ton of air quality warnings. The warnings were either orange or red: Orange meaning sensitive people, like people with asthma, were at risk. Red meant everybody in the area was at risk.
PM2.5 has been injected into the smoke, sky high. It has travelled by the wind. At 2.5 microns, they’re small enough to enter the human lungs. They make lung related health conditions worse, such as previously mentioned asthma.
Malingowski has mentioned that the smoke is more likely to stay around as the fires rage and the air is dry.
“Once fire activity decreases and precipitation reenters the picture for places that are receiving this reduction in visibility due to smoke, then that will help to mitigate smoke impacts,” she said.