Wildfire smoke map shows hazy weather blanketing the US as nearly 20,000 firefighters battle 83 blazes in the West

Wildfire smoke map shows hazy weather blanketing the US as nearly 20,000 firefighters battle 83 blazes in the West

THE majority of the United States is under a blanket of haze caused by over 80 wildfires burning on the west coast, sending mass firefighting crews into a panic as they attempt to stop the spread. 

Firefighters are trying to stop 83 blazes across the west coast, which were only exacerbated due to unprecedented drought and brutal heatwaves that sparked dry conditions. 

A huge blanket of smog is smothering the country due to wildfires
AirNow
The haze has reached as far as New York
Reuters

Over 19,300 firefighters are battling the blazes burning across 13 states, with Montana and Idaho experiencing the brunt of the heat, with 20 active fires in the former and 18 in the latter.

This has caused a mass haze across the United States, with a new smoke and fire map from AirNow showing the majority of the country is blanketed in a thick smog due to the fires. 

“You’ve probably noticed the persistent hazy skies as of late. Turns out we’re not the only ones seeing this—smoke from wildfires is covering much of the lower 48,” wrote the National Weather Service in a tweet.

The air quality index has reached an all-time high for the country, with cities across the US hitting records as the air quality reaches some of the poorest in the world.

Winthrop, Washington received an index score of 469, with Markleeville, California hitting a high of 270. Other parts of California have experienced highs well into the 200s as the state battles with its active blazes. Parts of Nevada are also well into the 200s.

The air quality index classifies a score of 151 to 200 as “unhealthy,” 201 to 300 as “very unhealthy” and anything above 300 as “hazardous.”

In California alone, over 176,892 acres of land have been burned through, closely trailing Oregon as the second most-affected state.

The Bootleg Fire, a blaze raging through Oregon since July 6, has burned itself over 388,360 acres of land and is still only 32 percent contained. 

Jesse Berman, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and an air quality expert, said this year’s record-hitting fires is unprecedented in how far its reached the rest of the country.

“One of the things about this event that makes it so remarkable is that the smoke is affecting such a large swath of the U.S,” Berman said.

“You’re not just seeing localized and perhaps upstate New York being affected, but rather you’re seeing numerous states all along the East Coast that are being impacted.”

Experts have said that the smoke usually wanes out as it goes further east, but this summer’s conditions have meant the haze still hangs stagnant in the air longer.

Over 19,000 firefighters are battling the blazes on the West Coast
AP
AP

The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is only 32 percent contained[/caption]