White House postpones Pride event due to wildfire smoke

The White House on Thursday postponed an outdoor Pride event due to hazardous air pollution in the US capital caused by smoke from Canadian wildfires.

“Today’s Pride event on the White House South Lawn will be postponed until Saturday based on the projected air quality in the region,” the White House said in a statement.

Other outdoor events along the East Coast have been similarly postponed or cancelled, including the Nationals-Diamondbacks baseball game which was to be held in the capital Thursday but now will take place on 22 June.

The Environmental Protection Agency rated parts of the mid-Atlantic region at “Code Maroon” on Thursday, the highest category of the Air Quality Index, signaling hazardous conditions.

In celebration of Pride Month, Washington is due to host a flagship parade on Saturday, with no word yet from organizers on whether the annual affair will go ahead. A related outdoor film screening for Thursday, however, had been postponed.

The smoke is emanating from Canada’s Quebec province, which is experiencing a historic season with nearly 800 000ha affected, according to the Society for the Protection of Forests Against Fire.

On Thursday, Quebec still had more than 150 active fires, including nearly 90 that were burning out of control.

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