Air quality alert extended for LI amid smoke, haze from Canadian wildfires; some schools limit outdoor activities
The smoke and haze from the Canadian wildfires have blanketed Long Island – triggering an air quality alert that has been extended through Thursday.
Residents are being told to limit outdoor activities, especially people who are vulnerable, including children and the elderly.
Many school sports and activities across Long Island, including recess and field trips, were canceled due to the air quality concerns. The Farmingdale lacrosse team was able to practice indoors at Kaz Gungor Sports Complex, but their state semifinal game in Albany was canceled due to the dangerous air quality.
Allergist Dr. Raphael Strauss says even people without preexisting conditions could experience symptoms such as eyes burning, difficulty breathing, coughing and sneezing.
"Stay indoors, if you can stay indoors in air conditioning, it is going to make a huge difference," Strauss says.
Officials also advise using fans to circulate the air.
Some Long Islanders wore masks to protect themselves. Others limited their time outside to just necessary appointments.
"It's like being near a fire, that heaviness of the air," says Ginny Campbell, of Amityville.
The state Department of Environmental Conservation is also recommending New Yorkers take pollution-reducing steps like taking mass transit instead of driving. It says automobile emissions account for about 60% of pollution in cities.
Pets are also susceptible to the poor air quality, so the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals advises pet owners to limit exercise and time spent outside.
Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross says it is best to take short walks outside for pets to relieve themselves before bringing them back in.
"It's going to affect them more than it actually is humans," Gross says. "If it affects you, it is going to affect your pet."
The SPCA says if you think the air quality is seriously affecting your pet to take them to a vet immediately.