5 m ago / 7:12 am EDT
Chris Stapleton canceled an outdoor concert in New York
Singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton canceled his outdoor concert in Syracuse, New York on Wednesday, joining a string of Broadway shows and sports games in canceling events across the state due to air quality conditions.
Stapleton tweeted about the cancellation, promising an update by Friday on the postponed show.
5 m ago / 7:11 am EDT
Lesson from Australia bushfires: ‘Take it very seriously’
Exposure to smoke from wildfires in Canada could have lasting health effects, an Australian expert said, pointing to his country’s devastating fires in 2019 and 2020.
“Take it very seriously, it has the potential to kill people,” Steve Robson, president of the Australian Medical Association, told NBC News.
Robson said there was “no doubt” smoke inhaled during those fires continued to affect the health of Australians, particularly children and the elderly.
“I’m very concerned looking at what I’m seeing in the pictures from New York, Washington, the northeast of the US that they’re going to have very similar health problems to Australia,” he said.
People with chronic conditions like asthma should be treated safely, Robson said. He advised vulnerable groups, including those with respiratory or heart problems, pregnant women, infants and the elderly, to seek early care.
“If possible, find places that have air purifiers or smoke screens, but I know it’s very, very difficult,” he said.
7 m ago / 7:10 am EDT
Biden promised additional firefighting support to Canada
President Joe Biden has offered additional firefighting support to Canada to help contain wildfires burning across the country.
Biden directed all available federal firefighting resources to assist in the effort, according to a readout of his call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday.
The U.S. has deployed more than 600 firefighters and support personnel, as well as other resources, to help fight the blaze, the release said.
13 m ago / 7:04 am EDT
An airplane passes in front of the sun as smoke from wildfires in Canada causes fog in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
23m ago / 6:53am EDT
‘Hamilton’ and ‘Camelot’ cancel Broadway shows due to air quality
“The show must go on,” is usually the motto — but such was the poor air quality in New York, the Broadway run of “Hamilton” had to be canceled Wednesday night.
“Dangerous air quality in New York has prevented many of our artists from performing tonight,” Hamilton’s official website announced. It said shows were expected to resume on Thursday and that refunds or exchanges would be available.
“Camelot” too announced his performance on Wednesday night was cancelled, but it was not said why. Spokeswoman Juliana Hannett told The New York Times it was due to air quality concerns.
48 m ago / 6:29 am EDT
What causes poor air quality?
Poor air quality can be caused by any airborne “irritant” — particles or substances in the air that are harmful to a person to inhale, says Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist and immunologist at the Allergy & Asthma Network, an advocacy network of groups for people with asthma, allergies and related conditions.
Some examples are air pollution, including from vehicles and carbon emissions, as well as rising ozone levels, she said. Natural disasters, such as wildfires, often cause short-term spikes in poor air quality as smoke, which contains carbon monoxide and other hazardous chemicals, enters the atmosphere.
Of particular concern are small particles – tiny particles in the air that are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, or about 4% the width of a strand of hair. These particles are small enough to be inhaled deep into the lungs and can enter the bloodstream.
The Environmental Protection Agency uses the Air Quality Index to report on air quality. It ranges from 0 to more than 300, with levels of 50 and below considered the healthiest. When levels exceed 150, the general population may begin to experience symptoms. Over 200 is considered “very unhealthy”.
1 hour ago / 6:15 am EDT
‘Stay indoors’ is the prevailing message during the dangerous haze
“Stay indoors” was the prevailing message for New Yorkers and others affected by the dangerous fog affecting parts of the eastern US
The National Weather Service in New York shares guidance on how to protect yourself from wildfire smoke:
1h ago / 6:13am EDT
An orange moon rises over New York City overnight after smoke from Canada filled the air with haze. CNBC producer Brad Howard snapped this photo on a very early morning walk with his dog.
1h ago / 6:09 am EDT
1 million N95 masks to be distributed across New York: Hochul
One million N95 face masks are expected to be made available at state facilities across New York this morning to help residents protect themselves from smoke from the Canadian wildfires, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
The governor warned New Yorkers that “the best way to stay safe right now is to stay indoors.”
“We recommend that outdoor activities be delayed or canceled while we await safer air quality conditions,” she said in a separate tweet. “If you must be outside for long periods of time, wear a high-quality mask to reduce exposure.”