NYC mayor calls wildfire smoke over city an ‘unprecedented event’

At a press conference on Wednesday morning, New York Mayor Eric Adams called the smoke over the city from Canadian wildfires "something that has never impacted us on this scale before" and urged all New Yorkers to limit outdoor activities.

Video Transcript

ERIC ADAMS: Yesterday, New Yorkers saw and smelled something that has never impacted us on this scale before. Even as I was out walking the streets clearly you knew something was happening that was beyond normal. The screen shots really show you the mist and the clouds that was over our city.

We had dangerously high levels of wildfire smoke from thousands of miles away, thousands of miles away. From the gloom over Yankee Stadium to the smoky haze obscuring our skyline. We could see it, we could smell it, and we felt it. And it was alarming and concerning.

Last night at 10:00 PM the air quality index hit 218, a very unhealthy level. The levels of health concern it really sent shock waves throughout the entire city and this region. And this morning at 7:00 AM the air quality index was 174 in the Bronx and will remain around that level for at least another day. But this is an unprecedented event in our city and New Yorkers must take precaution.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has issued an air quality health advisory for all five boroughs. Our team is coordinating and First Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright will go into that coordination. But at the moment, we recommend vulnerable New Yorkers stay inside and all New Yorkers should limit outdoor activity to the greatest extent possible.