Canadian wildfire smoke invades US with 67 million under Air Quality alerts from Northeast to Atlanta

The bulk of wildfire smoke has spread to the eastern half of the U.S., which is where a majority of the air quality alerts will remain in effect through at least Tuesday night, including in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

More than 67 million Americans across the U.S. awoke to air quality alerts Tuesday as smoke from wildfires burning across Canada continues to fill the sky, leading to potential health hazards.

What began this weekend with "unhealthy" air quality levels across parts of the West has pushed off to the east at the start of the workweek, leaving a smoky haze in places such as Boston.


More than 67 million under air quality alerts Tuesday

Air quality alerts remain in effect across portions of the Midwest, including northwestern Minnesota.

However, the bulk of wildfire smoke has spread to the eastern half of the U.S., which is where a majority of the air quality alerts will remain in effect through at least Tuesday night.

Millions of Americans across the Northeast and New England could see potential health hazards from the smoke.


Major cities across the region that are most at risk include Cleveland and Dayton in Ohio, but also along the Interstate 95 corridor from New Jersey to Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington.

New York City is not included in the air quality alerts. However, areas around the Big Apple are included.

To the south, air quality alerts are in effect in the Atlanta metro.


Where is the air quality bad right now?

The eastern half of the U.S. is where the worst air quality levels have been reported since Tuesday morning.

"Moderate" levels have seemed to dominate the skies from the Northeast to the mid-Atlantic and into the Southeast.

Current air quality levels in the eastern U.S. on Tuesday, July 18, 2023.
(FOX Weather)


However, "unhealthy" air quality is being reported in portions of Georgia. "Unhealthy for sensitive groups" air quality levels have been reported across portions of New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Those levels have also been reported across the Carolinas, portions of eastern Virginia and eastern Tennessee.

The Air Quality Index (AQI) ranges from 0 to 500, with smaller values indicating cleaner air and any readings above 300 being hazardous.

When is the smoke going away?

According to the FOX Forecast Center, there is no indication that the smoke will disappear completely anytime soon. The wildfires burning in Canada continue to burn out of control. Therefore, plumes of smoke will continue to filter into the U.S. from time to time as the weather patterns change.

Some relief is expected in the Northeast on Wednesday as this current plume blows out to sea. However, as storm systems move across the country, winds will help to shift the smoke into different regions.

No orange-sky repeat for Northeast, New York City

While cities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic will likely see smoke Tuesday from the wildfires, it will not be anything like what cities such as New York City and Washington experienced in June when the sky turned an eerie orange color.

On June 7, thick smoke from Canadian wildfires led to the worst air quality on record for New York City.

Images taken from New York showed strange scenes that looked like a science-fiction movie with the sky an apocalyptic orange.

Millions of people were forced to stay indoors, and even Major League Baseball officials opted to postpone games.

People visiting many of the monuments in Washington, as well as national park rangers, were also seen wearing masks to protect themselves from the harmful effects of the wildfire smoke back in June.