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Air quality monitoring will continue despite temporary clearing: Wildfires continue posing risk to Upstate New York

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

New York State’s Acting Health Commissioner James McDonald affirmed that monitoring of air quality will persist amid ongoing wildfires in Canada.

The announcement follows two days of compromised air quality across the state and the wider Northeast region, characterized by hazy skies. Although conditions improved on Friday, McDonald encouraged New Yorkers to remain vigilant, advising that they keep track of air quality just as they would daily weather.


Despite the improvement, the Canadian wildfires, which have been active for six weeks, could still pose a risk if wind patterns change.

McDonald highlighted precautionary measures such as Governor Kathy Hochul’s recent distribution of N95 masks and the use of air purifiers in homes.

Vulnerable populations such as those with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and infants have faced the brunt of the smoke-laden air.

Finger Lakes Partners (Billboard)

The extent of the health effects from the past two days remains uncertain. Amid these conditions, state officials have amplified their calls for tackling climate change and transitioning to renewable energy sources.

Photo taken by Jill Andrews in Cayuga County.