MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Lynx and New York Liberty fans just watched their Wednesday night plans go up in smoke.
The WNBA announced the Lynx's matchup in Brooklyn with host Liberty was postponed over air quality issues stemming from raging wildfires across Canada.
In recent days, parts of the U.S. have become blanketed in a smoky haze, presenting potential health hazards during a time that Canadian officials are calling one of the worst wildfire seasons ever. According to the Associated Press, more than 20,000 Canadians have been displaced by over 400 actively burning fires, the worst of which, affected northern Quebec.
Experts say around 73 million people in the United States and Canada have been impacted by air quality alert warnings over the last few weeks.
KARE 11 spoke with an expert with the Natural Resources Defense Council Tuesday, who said smoke can travel thousands of miles and has the capacity to impact an area 50 times larger than what actually burned.
"Even us in the Midwest, where we may not have active fires burning in our vicinity, you have to worry about the downstream effects of this type of air pollution," said Dr. Vijay Limaye.
Limaye went on to say wildfire smoke is particularly dangerous due to particulate matter that can be linked to asthma, heart disease and stroke.
"They can actually penetrate deep into our lungs, into our bloodstream, and travel to multiple organ systems," said Dr. Limaye.
Medical experts are advising people to limit their time outdoors, keep windows closed, take more breaks and generally reduce their exposure.
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