Smoke in the air chokes off outdoor activities has been helping people keep track of the Air Quality Index, a number determined from a combination of measurements taken by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Chloe Tafur, Staff Writer

The smoke from the Canadian wildfires reached all the way to the DMV this week, affecting and polluting the air. For a time on Thursday, it was actually the worst in the world, NBC news reported.

DMV residents are seeing and smelling the poor air quality resulting from the fires. In places, it looks like fog, but alerts have been issued from the mayor, news outlets, and weather services about the unhealthy air quality. 

“It’s also not a good day to bring your kids out to the park or the pool, especially if they have allergies, asthma, or chronic health issues,”  NBC News states. 

This has been the first time DC citizens have heard Code Purple; most people thought the scale only went to red. On Thursday the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments issued the Code Purple air quality advisory, meaning “very unhealthy levels for everyone,” for fine particle pollution due to ongoing smoke from fires in Canada. 

Wednesday in New York City was not exactly picnic weather. (Photo by Isabella Achenbach)

Mayor Muriel Bowser suspended several non-essential citywide services. Students are still attending schools, but most activities that are outdoors have been canceled. 

Even the animals in the zoo have been secured and put inside where possible. Because the air can affect people and animals’ health, it’s advised to stay indoors if possible or wear a Kn95 mask to filter out the small particles that are found in air pollution to protect what you breathe in.  

People are concerned with how long the smoke will last. “The smoke should at least lessen somewhat toward the weekend,” The Washington post said. 

The best thing to do is avoid doing outdoor activities and take safety precautions to protect yourself.