Western wildfires cause hazy skies in NYC
The Oregon Bootleg Fire covers 616 square miles, roughly half the size of Rhode Island. Fires in western U.S. states have contributed to low air quality across the country. On Wednesday, there were 61 uncontained large fires in the United States, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Strong winds blew smoke as far as New York City. Pennsylvania and New Jersey issued air quality alerts and told people with asthma and other health issues to stay indoors.
Are crews close to putting out the fires? In Oregon, more than 2,200 firefighters have struggled to contain the Bootleg Fire. Crews have retreated from fireballs and exploding trees for 10 days, but they hope that recent cooler temperatures and calmer winds will help. They have contained one-third of the fire, which has expanded by 4 square miles each day. The state evacuated 2,000 homes, and 5,000 more are in jeopardy. No deaths have been reported.
Dig deeper: Read Julie Borg’s report in Beginnings on whether climate change worsens fire season.
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