Smoke Cancellations Spreading Across U.S. As Canadian Wildfires Blanket Skies With Orange
By Bruce Haring,2023-06-07
Concerts, sporting events and flights in the East and Midwest are among the cancellations being wrought by the excessive smoke from more than 400 Canadian wildfires.
The orange haze has residents in those areas again wearing masks left over from the pandemic, as unhealthy air pollutants made breathing difficult. The air quality index, a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency metric for air pollution, exceeded 400 at times in New York and Pennsylvania. A level of 50 or under is considered good; anything over 300 is considered “hazardous,” when even healthy people are advised to curtail outdoor physical activity.
Already postponed are Major League Baseball games between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox in New York and the Philadelphia Phillies and the Detroit Tigers in Philadelphia — MLB’s first games postponed by air-quality issues since 2020. Those games will be made up on Thursday. Tonight’s Washington Nationals-Arizona Diamondbacks in Washington, D.C. will be played, officials said.
Some minor league baseball games also were postponed.
Tonight’s WNBA game between the New York Liberty and Minnesota Lynx at Barclays Center in Brooklyn was postponed, as was a women’s pro soccer game set for set for Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.
In New York, opening night of the Prospect Park Bandshell featuring Taj Mahal in concert was canceled. New York City beaches were closed, and outdoor activities were suspended at schools, city parks events and zoos, where animals were brought into night enclosures early.
On Broadway, Killing Eve star Jodie Comer had difficulty breathing and left the matinee performance of her one-woman show Prima Facie after 10 minutes; the show restarted with an understudy, show publicists said.
The NYC Parks Department canceled all outdoor events Wednesday, including “Movie Under the Stars” screenings that were scheduled at several parks throughout the five boroughs.
Hudson River Park’s Jazz at Pier 84, which was scheduled for 7 p.m. along the waterfront, also is off.
The Federal Aviation Administration paused some flights inbound to LaGuardia Airport and slowed planes to Newark Liberty and Philadelphia because the smoke was limiting visibility. Dulles International Airport outside Washington experienced delays.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.