Air quality health advisories and alerts are continuing across New York as the wildfires in Canada remain burning and winds send smoke in the state’s direction.

In an effort to keep residents informed and safe, Gov. Kathy Hochul has activated the state’s emergency notifications system.

What You Need To Know

  • Air quality alerts are being displayed on public transit systems across New York as wildfire smoke from Canada continues to impact the state

  • It's part of Gov. Hochul's activation of the state's emergency notification system

  • The Canadian wildfires are not expected to die down until winter

The notifications are taking place on the roads and public transit systems.

"New Yorkers should once again prepare for smoke from the wildfires in Western Canada to impact our state's air quality this week," Hochul said in a statement. "To help everyone stay informed and safe, we are activating emergency notifications on our roads and public transit systems and making masks available to counties for distribution. As forecasts continue to evolve, I encourage New Yorkers to stay up to date on the latest information and take the necessary precautions to protect yourselves and your loved ones."

The Rochester Genesee Regional Transportation Authority is one of several transit authorities across the state utilizing public address systems, bus headway signs and other electronic signage to provide air quality-related safety information directly to the customers.

Those who pass through read signs with statements like, “air quality alert,” “consider limiting time outdoors” and “consider wearing a mask.”

Some people were heeding the advice and wearing masks, including, Cynthia Webb of Rochester.

“Yeah, I think they should keep people informed because that’s their lives and whether it be older people, younger people, whatever age bracket – the quality of life, the quality of air is important, I think,” Webb said. “And I definitely want to protect myself as much as possible. Because with the air quality alert, which I didn’t know about, but I’ve been wearing my mask off and on because of the smog a couple of weeks ago and it was really bad.”

RTS spokesperson Tom Brede says getting the message out through the transportation system can help reach thousands of people.

“Yeah, there’s a lot of people that go through here every single year,” Brede said. “We have more people that come through the Transit Center in four or five months than go through the airport and the Amtrak stations sometimes in the course of a year. So there’s a lot of people coming through here on a daily basis. So it’s a great way to get information in front of people. And we’re glad to do our part and help the governor get the word out.”

Weather and climate forecasters say air quality concerns are something the area will have to contend with throughout the summer and into the fall, as the Canadian wildfires are not expected to die down until winter.