Millions of residents on the eastern coast of the U.S. and beyond have been burdened by billows of smoke from Canada’s wildfires, enacting an environmental health crisis across the country.
Air quality warnings have been issued in states
as far south as North Carolina and as far west as Ohio, where alerts are extended through Friday. Densely-populated metros like New York City have endured the brunt of the smoke, as the city recorded some the worst air quality in the world on Wednesday, reaching hazardous levels.
Images of an orange haze engulfing the city have been widely shared as the city’s skyscrapers and skyline became narrowly visible, prompting many to cancel events as local officials asked people to remain indoors or wear N95 masks if they go outside. The haze was so thick that flights at LaGuardia and Newark airports were temporarily
grounded. Still, many residents continued their regular routine, heading to work, or even purchasing food from a vendor cart outside.
Hundreds of fires still remain “out of control,” per
Canada’s Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair—some 9 million acres of land have been burnt over the past few days. And as climate change continues to escalate, as evidenced by these concerning photos, wildfire pollution may become more common in the region.
From Toronto, Ontario, to Washington, D.C., here’s a roundup of some of the most haunting images of the smoke from the wildfires:
Smoke from wildfires in Canada blankets the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on June 7, 2023.
People walk down a pathway in Hamilton, Ontario, as the sun sets and smoke from wildfires fills the sky on June 7, 2023.
Chris Young—The Canadian Press/AP
Heavy smoke fills the air as people cross 34th Street in Herald Square in New York City on June 6, 2023.
Gary Hershorn—Getty Images
Smoke from forest fires in Northern Ontario and in Quebec contribute to pink hazy sunset in the city from the Cherry Beach over Toronto, on June 6, 2023.
Steve Russell—Toronto Star/Getty Images
An Orthodox Jewish man lights a cigarette while standing with another by the waterfront as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada cover the Manhattan skyline on June 7, 2023.
A general view of hazy conditions at Yankee Stadium resulting from Canadian wildfires, which postponed a game between the Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees on June 7, 2023.
New York Yankees/Getty Images
Golfers watch their shots at the driving range at Valley Country Club in Sugarloaf, Pa., as smoke from wildfires in Canada fill the air, on June 7, 2023.
Navy Pier as smoke from Canada wildfires creates haze in Chicago on June 8, 2023.
Jamie Kelter Davis—Bloomberg/Getty Images
Light from a food vendor’s cart lights the sidewalk as smoke from wild fires in Northeast Canada is observed near Central Park in New York City, on June 7, 2023.
Members of the Marine Corps honor color guard rehearse near the Reflecting Pool with the sun rising over a thick layer of smoke in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 2023.
People watch the sunset as haze and smoke caused by wildfires in Canada hang over the Manhattan skyline in New York City, on June 7, 2023.
A haze covers Philadelphia City Hall, caused by smoke from Canada’s wildfires, on June 7, 2023.
Joe Lamberti—AFP/Getty Images
A horse is bathed at sunrise outside its barn prior to the 155th running of the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park, in Elmont, N.Y. on June 8, 2023.
Al Bello—Getty Images
Smoky haze from wildfires in Canada blankets a neighborhood in the Bronx, in New York City, on June 7, 2023.
David Dee Delgado—Getty Images
More Must-Reads From TIME