ATC Urges Hikers To Stay Indoors Amid Hazardous Air Quality
Smoke from wildfires in eastern Canada continues to generate poor air quality across much of the eastern United States. New York City recorded some of the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday, and conditions in that city and throughout much of the northeast remain unhealthy or even hazardous into Thursday.
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy issued an alert on Thursday morning, warning hikers of very unhealthy to hazardous air quality from Shenandoah National Park through southern Vermont. “Hikers in these areas should consider postponing their trips on the A.T. until air quality improves. Disposable respirators such as N95 masks may also provide some protection,” the alert reads.
Concentrations of dangerous PM2.5 air pollution (particulate matter small enough to be inhaled and enter the bloodstream via the lungs) have reached hazardous levels on some parts of the trail.
Southern and central Pennsylvania are currently reporting the worst conditions on the AT. In the trail town of Duncannon, Pa., the current air quality is 328, while nearby Lancaster, Pa. is reading levels above 400 (anything above 300 is considered hazardous).
Smoke is expected to remain in the region through Thursday and possibly into the weekend. Hikers can monitor conditions safely from indoors using AirNow.gov.
Featured image: A fire and smoke map of the United States showing concentrations of poor air quality in shades of red and purple. Captured 6/8/2023 at 10:41 ET. Via Airnow.gov.
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