by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com
As regions across the western United States and parts of Canada face an intense early wildfire season, its effects are being witnessed on the opposite side of the country as far east as the Atlantic Ocean.
Skylines from Boston to North Carolina faded behind an eerie haze, and air quality alerts urged residents thousands of miles away from the wildfires to stay inside as winds blew the smoke eastward, reports Sarah Gibbens for National Geographic.
“What they’re experiencing on the East Coast from our West Coast fires shows it’s a nationwide and a global problem,” says Mary Prunicki, Stanford University’s director of air pollution and health research, to National Geographic.
The billowing smoke resulted from nearly 300 active wildfires currently ravaging British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost providence, and 80 fires blazing through the American west. The largest fire is Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, which had already charred 400,000 acres, or roughly an area nine times the size of Washington D.C, per National Geographic.