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Harrowing before-and-after photos show 'apocalyptic' haze from Canadian wildfires blanketing New York City: 'It's pretty brutal'

"There's no great place to live where it's going to be someone else's problem."

Canadian wildfires New York city haze air quality Central Park

Photo Credit: Twitter

Flames continue to ravage millions of acres of dense Canadian forests as the country endures a devastating wildfire season that may go down as the worst in its history

These fires aren't the only unprecedented problem — the resulting smoke and haze have spread to and blanketed most of the eastern U.S., with New York City experiencing record-setting air quality indices.

Social media has been filled with disturbing images of the haze cast over several states, from a bright orange sky to an indiscernible Statue of Liberty. Some more shocking posts share images highlighting the undeniable contrast in landmarks before and during the haze.

A tweet from the official NYPD Central Park Precinct, Manhattan account (@NYPDCentralPark) showed stark before-and-after photos of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park, advising New Yorkers to remain cautious outside.

In the "before" image, a clear blue sky backgrounds a crisp skyline and the reservoir. The dissimilarity between this picturesque landscape and the same setting hazed with sepia smoke is startling, to say the least. 

"It's pretty brutal," commented one user.

Most people's social media feeds feature similar photos and videos of the "apocalyptic" orange smoke hanging overhead. 

@salpalma1 The current situation…. #nyc #airquality #wildfire #canada ♬ sonido original - Arturo Vilchez

Another Twitter user compared the smoke over New York City to Mars. 

"The beautiful skyline of New York just vanished into a hazy, smokey, sickly color orange," they wrote.

The smoke is particularly concerning for those in NYC, Philadelphia, Baltimore, D.C., and other parts of the eastern region, as these areas don't endure wildfires as frequently as those on the West Coast. To protect yourself and your loved ones, stay indoors when possible, use high-quality n95 or P100 masks and invest in a HEPA air filter if possible, or build a Corsi-Rosenthal air filter.

The over 400 Canadian wildfires and the smoke they're sending to the U.S. are just one example of the reality many Americans are coming to terms with — that extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense everywhere, not just in certain regions. 

"There's no great place to live where it's going to be someone else's problem," Dave Finnochio, the co-founder and CEO of The Cool Down, wrote in an op-ed about the fires. 

Wildfires aren't a new phenomenon, but the rate at which they're occurring and their increasing frequency are concerning, especially as we continue to burn the dirty energy that indirectly contributes to these climate-fueled wildfires.Every action to reduce our reliance on gas, oil, and coal and slow further overheating of the planet will have an impact, from saving carpooling or buying an EV to conserving your home's energy with energy-efficient appliances or investing in solar energy. According to experts, the most important thing individuals can do to make an impact is talk to friends, family, and community members about the overheating of the planet.

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