Smoke from hundreds of Canadian wildfires continues to spread across the United States, causing poor air quality and impacting air travel. According to the flight tracking website FlightAware, nearly 350 flights in the United States have been delayed as of Thursday (June 8) morning, and at least eight flights have been canceled.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the wildfires are impacting operations at airports across the East Coast.
"Reduced visibility from wildfire smoke will continue to impact air travel today. We will likely need to take steps to manage the flow of traffic safely into New York City, DC, Philadelphia, and Charlotte," the agency tweeted.
The FAA said it has "paused flights from the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Ohio bound" for New York City's LaGuardia Airport and Philadelphia International Airport. In addition, all departures from Philadelphia were grounded due to low visibility, and all flights heading to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey have been delayed.
While northerly winds are expected to push the wildfire further south on Thursday, many cities in the Northeast continue to deal with unhealthy air quality conditions. As of noon on Thursday, New York City had the worst air quality in the world, according to IQair.com.
Officials in New York expect the conditions to improve throughout the day, but warned that smokey conditions will likely continue until Friday.
"The large plume we saw yesterday has been pushed through the city, and we are expecting gradual improvement through the early afternoon today," New York City Mayor Eric Adams said during a news conference. "But a sea breeze this afternoon could push smoke back over the city."
The smokey conditions will likely continue across the eastern Great Lakes and Northeast through the weekend. Forecasters said that a storm system coming from the west could help clear out the smoke by early next week.