Large fires have been actively burning for weeks across the Western U.S, such as California and Oregon, and in Canada. The largest fire in Oregon has now burned more than 600 square miles of land. The fire has become so large that it has created its own weather. Smoke has drifted over major cities nearly 3,000 miles from the fires, such as Philadelphia and New York, and even in the eastern parts of Canada. It has also started to affect the air quality in Rochester, as we’ve been in the 100s over the past couple of days.
Sheryl Magzamen, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Colorado State University, had this to say about the fires and the health of our community; “When that smoke is associated with local fire, our research has actually shown that there are fewer hospitalizations and ER visits on average because people are protecting themselves from the smoke and fire. However, if you’re far away from them … there’s not that same type of warning system, because you’re not in any danger because of the fire.”