And they are no forecasted to run out for a good while…..
The latest disruptions made it all the more clear: Record-setting, out-of-control Canadian wildfires will not be put out any time soon, meaning more Americans than ever face continuing threats of dangerously poor air quality this summer.
Put differently: The United States could be in for a summer of smoke.
“The number of people that are exposed is unprecedented in the modern era,” said Michael Wara, an energy and climate policy expert at Stanford University.
Air quality alerts covered all or parts of 23 U.S. states Thursday, from Colorado to Vermont, Wisconsin to Georgia. And while residents of Western states have grown accustomed to adjusting their lives to wildfire smoke, Easterners are still adapting to the reality that sooty skies can be a repeated hazard.
As climate change increases the frequency and intensity of wildfires worldwide, unrelenting spring heat and dry weather have fueled Canada’s worst fire season ever observed. That means northerly summer breezes that would normally bring a break from heat waves will carry noxious smoke across the northern U.S. border as long as the fires continue to burn.
“The air quality is worse than Beijing,” said Liz Alford, 36, a federal worker who found refuge in Coffee Down Under, a basement coffee shop in downtown Detroit. “On my way in, I couldn’t even see the cell towers.”…