Air Slowly Clears in the U.S., but Canada Remains Engulfed in Flames

There are hundreds of wildfires burning across Canada, displacing tens of thousands of people. The air quality in the eastern United States is improving.

Air Slowly Clears in the U.S., but Canada Remains Engulfed in Flames


The latest news on Canada's wildfires, and the smoke's effects in North America.

Canada was again threatened on Friday by a series of wildfires, which have been raging for weeks and could be deadly. They have displaced thousands of people in the country and raised alarm about the dangers of climate change. Hazardous smoke has also blown into the United States.

The fires that have spread from British Columbia to Nova Scotia have destroyed livelihoods and homes, lowered air quality, and at times turned part of the sky over Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto into a thick smog.

On Thursday, the haze started to lift in the Mid-Atlantic region. This brought relief to millions of people who had been breathing dangerously polluted smog for two days. The plume, however, was still threatening cities in the south and west.

On Friday, hundreds of wildfires raged across Canada as Canadians prepared for the worst fire season in recent history.

Steven Flisfeder is a meteorologist who specializes in warning preparedness at Environment and Climate Change Canada. He predicted that this weekend, Toronto, Canada's largest and financial capital, could have better air quality thanks to rain and clouds near areas of wildfires. On Sunday, scattered rains are expected in southern Ontario.

He said, 'That will help flush out some of the contaminants in the air.

What else should you know?

On Thursday, Quebec Premier Francois Legault announced that 13,500 people had been evacuated from the province, but that this number would not increase on Friday or Saturday.

Experts say that the drought in some parts of Canada's west provinces has contributed to an explosive, early start to wildfire season. According to the Canadian Drought Monitor (a federally maintained monitoring system), some parts of northern Alberta are experiencing severe drought conditions.