Quebec Wildfires Contribute to Extreme Fire Season in Canada

In Canada, the wildfires have exerted a heavy human toll, including displacing tens of thousands of people. The level of unpredictability caused by the blazes is so high that provincial wildfire authorities in British Columbia have warned local residents to have a go-bag at the ready, along with an evacuation plan.

Millions of Canadians in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal woke up Wednesday to a haze of smoke over large sections of their cities, as wildfires expanded to places that had previously felt largely immune to fires blazing in faraway provinces.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada said that hundreds of soldiers had been deployed across the country to help with firefighting efforts. “Unfortunately over the past years, we’ve seen extreme weather events increase in their intensity and their impact on Canadians as well as on their cost to families, to provinces and to the federal budget,” Mr. Trudeau said.

An apocalyptic haze in shades of beige thickened over northeastern U.S. cities throughout the day on Wednesday, drawing out anxieties about climate change from everyday New Yorkers and health warnings from Gov. Kathy Hochul of New York and Mayor Eric Adams of New York City.

In the cities most affected, including Buffalo and Binghamton in upstate New York, thick clouds of orange plunged the area into unusually cold temperatures, as conditions worsened across the northeast. Schools in New York City and Washington, D.C., canceled outdoor activities for the day, zoos in New York closed early out of concern for the animals, and Philadelphia warned residents to stay inside.

The smoke and poor air quality also led to the cancellation of various cultural performances and sporting events, including a Yankees game in the Bronx and a Phillies game in Philadelphia, and even canceled an indoor WNBA game, the New York Liberty game at Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

“People are scared to come out in this smoke,” said Remy Hernandez, 40, a Bronx resident who delivers food orders for Uber Eats and DoorDash. “To me it looks like the world is ending.”

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