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How Canadian wildfire smoke could impact summer travel plans



TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A toxic haze is still blanketing parts of the Northeast from a fresh layer of smoke from Canadian wildfires spreading across the border.

The hazardous air quality conditions have many travelers reconsidering their travel plans. Even doctors are offering warnings for vacationers.

Arrivals and departures from Tampa International Airport are back on track after lengthy delays from New York over the last 24 hours. 

With her dog in tow, Paige Feigenbaum is getting ready to head to New York to see her parents.  It’s a plan that’s been months in the making.

“All of the activities I want to do are outdoors because it’s known for sailing and being along the coast and the scenery,” said Paige Feigenbaum.  “I hope I can go on that trip because I’ve wanted to see it for years.”


However, the fresh wave of smoke from Canadian wildfires is blanketing the Northeast and prompting her to consider canceling her plans altogether.

“Nobody wants to go to a place where they can’t breathe fresh air when they’re afraid,” said Feigenbaum. “That’s just no way to live, paralyzed in fear for your safety and health.”

The smokey haze may be slowly dissipating and it will have little to no impact on the air quality in Florida, but those heading north should heed the warnings from physicians.

“They should look at the air quality before they travel and probably cancel the travel because it’s certainly going to impact their breathing,” said Dr. Kapil Patel.

Patel is a pulmonologist at Tampa General Hospital. He says the situation could be dire for anyone with respiratory issues like lung disease, COPD, and asthma.

“Delay the trip because their trip is certainly going to be impacted by their symptoms,” said Patel. “You can’t wear masks to prevent worsening symptoms.  It may minimize it a bit, but it’s not 100 percent effective.”

Sound advice that’s changing the situation for travelers.


“I’m in Florida where the air is clear,” said Feigenbaum.  “So why go to a place where it’s smokey if I can avoid it.”

Source: WFLA

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