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Canada wildfire smoke closes New York container terminal

EarthCam A view of the New York City skyline obscured by orange haze
APM Terminals closed its largest terminal on the US East Coast on June 7 due to deteriorating air quality.

In an operational update sent to customers, the company said it was closing APM Terminals Elizabeth at 1500 hrs local time on Wednesday, June 7 “due to the deteriorating air quality in the NY/NJ area caused by Canadian wildfires”

New York topped the list of cities in the world with the worst air quality on June 7 as orange haze covered an area from New York south beyond Philadelphia and West to Detroit. Philadelphia topped the same air quality list late Wednesday night with an Air Quality Index of 447.

As of 0200 hrs on Thursday, June 8, the Air Quality Index in New York was at 188, equating to an unhealthy reading, with high levels of particulates in the air. The air quality forecast shows an improvement in air quality from Thursday through Saturday, before deteriorating again on Sunday.

The air quality issues are caused by smoke from wildfires in Canada which are being dragged by a weather system down and across the East Coast of the US. At the time of writing, 437 fires were active in Canada with 248 of those out of control.

The air quality has also caused flight delays at US airports and cancellation of sports events in the New York area.

Operations at APM Terminals Elizabeth were set to resume as normal on Thursday June 8.