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Air Quality Alerts Issued As Canadian Wildfire Smoke Blankets Eastern Seaboard

Air quality alerts were issued across the U.S. on Tuesday as smoke from massive Canadian wildfires blanketed the Eastern Seaboard.

Smoke drifting from New York to Maryland this week caused five states to declare a red flag warning due to hot and unstable weather conditions, the National Weather Services said. At least 100 wildfires are still burning in northwest Quebec with strong winds pushing smoke downward into the mid-Atlantic, according to CBS News Boston.

The Weather Service states a “red flag warning” occurs when weather conditions are occurring or will occur which could lead to the development of large and dangerous fires in dry areas.

New York City is experiencing the worst air quality on the east coast, causing the city to declare a red flag warning. Officials are warning those who are sensitive to smoke to stay indoors because the air is “unhealthy,” according to Fox Weather.

Meteorologist John Homenuk tweeted, “It could be pretty hazy out there, and the smoke could be pretty noticeable on Tuesday afternoon and evening.” (RELATED:Air Traffic Control Lost Contact With Pilot Minutes Into Doomed Flight That Crashed In Virginia Mountains)

More than 400 wildfires have swept through Quebec so far, and dozens are still burning in Ontario. Almost 10 million acres have been inundated with flames in Canada so far this year. The Wildfires are being attributed to the nearly record-breaking hot temperatures in several parts of Canada, according to CNN.

Dangerous air quality alerts will remain in effect until Wednesday night. Those on the east coast will be able to smell an acrid smoky scent from now until that time, according to CBS News Boston. 

“Visibility could drop to near 2 miles at times as this plume of smoke passes through,” Homenuk said.

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