Gov. Kathy Hochul says the state is offering support to Canadian officials in fighting the wildfires that have blanketed New York state and parts of the Northeast with smoky air.
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said earlier Wednesday that New York is seeing its worst air quality in over 20 years.
“Our message right now is going to be reiterated multiple times because it is simply stay indoors,” Hochul said Wednesday evening in Albany. “Outdoors is dangerous in just about every part of our state, not just vulnerable communities but everyone.”
The governor said she spoke with the Canadian Consul General Tom Clark earlier in the day.
“He told me what they’re seeing is unprecedented. Compared to an average 10-year period, the number of fires they’re experiencing is up 14,000%,” Hochul said. “So I offered our help. We offered fire rangers to be deployed to assist them and they said they’re looking at the requests.”
She said Canadian officials are currently assessing what areas need the most assistance.
Hochul also said the state is making available 1 million N-95 masks, popular during the COVID-19 pandemic, at MTA train stations, the Jacob Javits Center, the Port Authority Bus Terminal and state parks. There will be an additional 600,000 masks available at stockpiles around the state for local governments to distribute.
Hochul also recommended state residents be careful regarding open fires, barbeques and related open flames at home.