THE EFFECTS of nearly 250 wildfires in Ontario and Quebec have made their way into the northeastern United States, bringing apocalyptic skies.
A haze of smoke is currently choking New York City and Washington D.C, with nearly 100 million people experiencing very poor air quality in North America. In fact, data from the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI) shows that cities in North-Eastern America had the worst air quality in the world on Thursday morning. Many commuters are choosing to wear face masks as they move around the city, transforming the streets of New York into an eerily familiar, pandemic-era scene.
The cloudy plume — darkening skylines and painting them a dark hazy orange — has obscured visibility, and as a result flights have been grounded and numerous events cancelled. While Australians are no strangers to smoky skies — during the bushfires of the summer of 2019-2020, Australia’s East Coast was cloaked in smog for months — for those living on America’s Eastern Seaboard, where summers are humid and rain is plentiful, the sight is totally unfamiliar.
US President Joe Biden described the fires as a “stark reminder of the impacts of climate change”.
See the surreal photographs below.
Images from this article originally appeared in Esquire US.