© 2023 WRVO Public Media
NPR News for Central New York
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Smoky conditions continue across NY as Hochul cautions of a 'new normal'

A haze of smoke is visible throughout downtown Syracuse on June 7, 2023
Ava Pukatch
A haze of smoke is visible throughout downtown Syracuse on June 7, 2023

New York is continuing to see unhealthy air as Canadian wildfires continue to burn. The entire state is under an air quality health advisory with Gov. Kathy Hochul advising folks to limit their time outside.

Hochul said this is the new reality for New Yorkers, advising them to incorporate checking the air quality numbers into their daily routine.

"We're so used to checking the weather in the winter time," Hochul said. "'What's the air temperature? What's the wind chill? Do I need to wear a hat or coat?' We're also going to have to condition New Yorkers into understanding that being outdoors when the air quality is compromised and at dangerous levels, it will have an effect on your health."

Thursday afternoon in central New York the air quality index was in the 180s. Air quality in the 150-200 range means it is unhealthy for everyone. Hochul said mask up if you must spend time outdoors.

"Little children should not be out playing when the weather when the conditions are in these dangerous hazardous numbers," the governor said. "Senior citizens, people with asthma — we have 400,000 children with asthma in our state today — they need to be told this is not the time to be outside riding their bicycles."

Emergency phone alerts will be sent out if the air quality index exceeds 200 and is sustained for longer than an hour.

"This is the new normal for New Yorkers," Hochul said. "We need to make sure that people know these numbers. [Friday] we're expecting to see smoke linger across the state. It's going to be important for people to stay vigilant."

Hochul said they expect to see the winds dissipate over the next couple of days.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.