Smoke From Canadian Wildfires Creating Unhealthy Air in Clifton


Kelly Clark/The Canadian Press via AP

As of June 5, there were 421 active fires burning across Canada, according to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre. Along the east coast of the United States, and even to the west, the air quality is being affected by these northern fires and the tremendous amounts of toxic smoke generated.

The National Weather Service has issued this air quality warning - 

"The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued an
Air Quality Action Day for the following counties:

Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, Essex, Union

until midnight EDT Wednesday night. 

An Air Quality Action day for Particulate Matter has been declared
Tuesday, June 6th and Wednesday, June 7th. Sensitive individuals,
including those with heart or lung disease, the elderly, and the
young should limit strenuous activities and the amount of time
outdoors. Levels of fine particulates will rise into unhealthy for
sensitive groups category statewide today and Wednesday and likely
last into the evening hours both days due to wildfire smoke
transport from eastern Canadian wildfires.

For additional information, please visit the New Jersey Department
of Environmental Protection Web site

Just before 7 pm Tuesday evening, Clifton City Manager Nick Villano sent out a robocall to residents to deliver a public health announcement. The message said, in part, "The air quality levels are severely impacted by the Nova Scotia Canadian fires. If you suffer with respiratory conditions, try to stay indoors or wear a mask." 

Conditions, he said, are expected to continue for the next few days. 9-1-1 dispatchers are aware of the situation. "Be careful and stay safe," the message concluded.

If you are not signed up for emergency alerts from the city, click HERE to sign up for Swift911.

Parents received an email from the school district Tuesday night to address the situation. The email said that all outdoor activities and recess would be canceled for Wednesday, June 7. Air purifiers will be running throughout the day in classrooms and the district will monitor conditions and make a decision about after-school activities tomorrow. The email also asked families to be prepared for the possibility of an early dismissal should conditions become unsafe.

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