What would have been a partly sunny day over Upstate New York turned into a yellowed, hazy overcast glow on Tuesday as smoke from Canadian wildfires drifted southward into the Mohawk Valley.

Many, who thought they could smell the smoke on Monday, were left with no doubt on Tuesday as the smell of smoke spread throughout the region. The NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality alert again on Tuesday and this time recommended even people with healthy lungs stay inside and avoid breathing the polluted air.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation at Albany has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for Fine Particulates.. until midnight EDT tonight. Air quality levels in outdoor air are predicted to be greater than an air quality index value of 100 for fine particulates. The air quality index or AQI, was created as an easy way to correlate levels of different pollutants to one scale. The higher the AQI value, the greater the health concern. When pollution levels are elevated, the New York State Department of Health recommends that individuals consider limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse health effects. People who may be especially sensitive to the effects of elevated levels of pollutants include the very young and those with pre existing respiratory problems such as asthma or heart disease. Those with symptoms should consider consulting their personal physician. NYSDEC, Weather.com

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Area school districts decided to keep elementary students indoors during recess, to keep children from breathing the air.

  • Due to poor air quality, all OUTSIDE after-school and evening activities within the New Hartford Central School District are canceled today, Tuesday, June 6. -NHCSD

New York Mills Central School District also cancelled all outdoor after-school events, and allowed indoor events today to continue as normal.

These school districts cancelled all after school events:



The Utica School District cancelled all sports activities as city fields.

Poor air quality is expected to linger into Wednesday as fires continue to burn in Quebec and Nova Scotia. Smoke from the fires is drifting south into the northeastern United States. So far, 6.7 million acres of land has burned in 2023, according to Canadian officials.

The NYSDEC is maintaining an interactive website that displays fire and smoke locations around the country.


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