Smoke from western wildfires smothers East Coast

Smoke from western wildfires smothers East Coast
© getty

Smoke from the wildfires ravaging the West Coast is reaching as far east as New York City, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The wildfires, 80 of which were reported as of Monday in 13 different states, are causing harmful air quality conditions across the country.

Satellite footage shared by NOAA showed the smoke is visible from space, and is working its way across North America.

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Among the fires is the massive Oregon Bootleg blaze, which had spread to more than 300,000 acres as of Tuesday and was 30 percent contained. The blaze's size is creating many hurdles for firefighters, including its potential for creating its own dangerous weather conditions, including fire clouds and fire tornados.

A few hundred fires have also been burning in western and central Canada, leading to state of emergencies.

Reuters noted that the jet stream is carrying smoke, ash, dust and other particulate matter across the country, causing harmful effects. In New York City, the air quality index (AQI) got up to 170, dubbed as "unhealthy" air by the Environmental Protection Agency.

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Journalist Keith Olbermann referred to the haze in New York City as being "as thick as winter fog" and smelling "acrid."

This week, Philadelphia's AQI reached 172, and Boston and Hartford, Conn., recorded levels above 150. Officials suggested the use of protective masks outside to help combat the air pollution's harmful effects, Reuters notes.