An environmental expert speaks to ‘Sky News Arabia’ about the urgent and long-term prevention measures countries need to take, listing the dangers of toxic gases from such fires.
smoke circle journey
The journey of crossing borders of fire smoke began with its arrival in the United States, particularly in New York, whose features were covered in thick clouds of smoke. The smoke spread to Virginia, where the National Weather Service’s Environmental Quality Administration issued a red air quality alert, and the Federal Aviation Administration grounded some flights to and from from New York and Virginia airports due to poor visibility. Cities on the east coast of the United States have had to issue air pollution warnings. The steamers crossed the continent over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to approach Norway on the opposite coast in Europe; The Scandinavian State’s Environment and Climate Research Institute reported on Friday that smoke from Canadian fires had been monitored, but researchers said monitoring was ‘very low’ of smoke particles since Monday ; This does not constitute a serious environmental or health problem.
How did this spread happen?
Environmental expert Ayman Qaddouri, a member of the International Union for Conservation of the Environment, explains what is behind this movement and its wide spread, telling Sky News Arabia:
Smoke from the fires moved to the northeast of the United States of America due to regional westerly winds moving east. Monsoon winds moving from areas of high atmospheric pressure in the Canadian highlands to the northeastern United States; Where are the areas of low atmospheric pressure. As the winds coincided with a wave of fierce fires in Canada, they carried smoke from the fires north to America, and clouds of smoke are expected to reach the central United States in the coming days.
Kadouri lists the dangers of wildfire smoke:
The smoke contains up to 250 organic compounds and toxic gases, resulting from the decomposition of the burnt parts, and they fall under the name of PM2.5, in particular carbon monoxide, which spreads very quickly in the atmosphere. The smell of smoke from the fire is not smelled by people, which doubles its danger. It affects the level of oxygen in the blood, causes unconsciousness and death can occur.
Means of prevention
A member of the International Union for Conservation of the Environment warns about the steps to follow in the event of pollution by fire smoke:
Wear masks and do no activities outside the home. Municipalities in affected towns are using water sprinklers to discourage the movement of smoke and limit its transmission. To prevent future accidents, care should be taken to increase vegetation cover, especially forests. Because it acts as a first buffer against wind movement and prevents the spread of smoke and fires to wider places.
Hundreds of firefighters from around the world have flocked to Canada to help fight the wildfires which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says are the worst wildfire season the country has ever seen.
Smoke from more than 400 wildfires has scorched 3.8 million hectares of Canadian forests, displaced tens of thousands of people in recent weeks, caused breathing difficulties for millions and blocked thousands of flights on the east coast of the United States.
According to CNN on Friday, the number of people still subject to air quality warnings in the United States rose from 75 million people last Wednesday and Thursday to nearly 50 million.
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