Wildfire season in the western U.S. and Canada started early and viciously, filling the dog days of summer with dangerous air quality, obscured skies, and wildfire evacuation fears across the region.
Wildfire season is in full swing across the western United States, even in places where it usually holds off until late August and September.
The Ferguson Fire burning outside of Yosemite National Park in central California first drew media attention after claiming the life of a firefighter this past weekend.
Following years of Air Quality Alert days in the northeastern United States that are few and far between, the I-95 corridor is likely staring down the barrel of its first multi-day air quality event since 2012.
While the news about the volcanic eruption in Hawaii has slowed in recent weeks, the steady rumbles and emissions from Kilauea have yet to cease, threatening the health of local residents.
Summer in the southern and southwestern U.S. means vacations, road trips, and long periods of calm, hot and sunny weather, creating a perfect storm of poor air quality conditions.
While the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been steadily decreasing the acceptable amount of poor air quality a state is allowed per year, emissions have not been improving alongside these new standards.
As the forecast for high heat and strong winds coincides with a high springtime sun angle and a long-building drought, the threat for wildfire ignition is disconcertingly high in the southwestern U.S.
The country of Kosovo in the Balkan mountain range of eastern Europe has recently started to bargain with its status as a coal-dependent country.
To the credit of industrialized countries around the world, it seems governing powers are universally concluding that air pollution is an issue worth addressing. Most recently, local politicians in the U.K. have been bringing the issue to the table.