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Climate activists marched in New York over pollution caused by Canada’s wildfires as millions remain under health alert warnings.

RELATED: Americans under air quality alert as wildfire smoke clouds cities

When New York City’s mayor stepped outside this week, he was shaken and confused by what he saw: “What the hell is this?”

“This” was a thick, glowing haze of smoke from fires hundreds of miles away in Canada. It made the air unhealthy to breathe, snarled air traffic and cast a surreal shadow over millions of residents. Fire has always been a natural part of the ecosystem of Canada’s forests and smoke from Canadian fires has at times been strong enough to drift down into the United States. But fire experts say what’s happening this year is historic and unprecedented.

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