Canada's Trudeau says he talked to Biden over raging wildfires



Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that he talked to U.S. President Joe Biden over the wildfires as hundreds of American firefighters have recently arrived in Canada and more are on the way.

"I thanked him for all the help Americans are providing as we continue to fight these devastating wildfires," Trudeau tweeted.

Tens of millions of people in North America have been warned of dangerous air quality as intense wildfires rage across Canada, which Trudeau said were caused by climate change.

New York City and Ottawa recorded "hazardous" levels of air quality on Wednesday.

Wildfires are common in Canada's western provinces, but this year flames have mushroomed rapidly in the country's east, making it the worst-ever start to the season.

About 3.8 million hectares (9.4 million acres) have already burned, some 15 times the 10-year average, said Canadian Federal Minister of Emergency Preparedness Bill Blair on Wednesday.

Hundreds of firefighters were battling the blazes, while the Canadian authorities are expecting hundreds more to arrive in the next few days from countries in Europe and North America.

An unusually early and intense start to wildfire season has set Canada on track for its worst-ever year of fire destruction as warm and dry conditions are expected to persist for months.

South of the border, more than a dozen U.S. states were under air-quality alerts as smoke from the wildfires wafted south.

Some flights into the New York City area and Philadelphia were delayed and others briefly halted because of reduced visibility from wildfire smoke.