In light of the ongoing Canadian wildfires and the subsequent impact on air quality, Westchester County has taken proactive steps to prioritize the health and safety of its residents and employees. The County has announced precautionary measures to mitigate potential risks associated with the poor air quality caused by the fires.

Effective immediately, Westchester County has made the following decisions for today, June 7:

  1. Cancellation of County-Sponsored Outdoor Events: In order to safeguard the well-being of the community, all outdoor events sponsored by Westchester County will be canceled for today, June 7.
  2. Recommendation for Other Organizations: Westchester County strongly advises other organizations within its jurisdiction to consider canceling their outdoor activities as well.
  3. Recommendation for County Employees: The County administration recommends all County employees who are required to work outdoors to wear masks as an added precautionary measure. While not mandatory, the County administration strongly encourages the use of masks as an additional layer of protection against the compromised air quality caused by the wildfires.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the New York State Department of Health issue Air Quality Health Advisories when DEC meteorologists predict levels of pollution, either ozone or fine particulate matter are expected to exceed an Air Quality Index (AQI) value of 100. To remain updated on the air quality index, monitor the DEC website for air quality index updates. 

Exposure can cause short-term health effects, such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, coughing, sneezing, runny nose and shortness of breath. Exposure to elevated levels of fine particulate matter can also worsen medical conditions such as asthma and heart disease. People with heart or breathing problems, and children and the elderly may be particularly sensitive. Residents should keep all windows closed if possible.

Additional information is available on DEC and on DOH websites.