NYC Shrouded in Toxic Haze: Drone Chronicles from Casey Neistat

A grim orange haze, the result of raging wildfires in , descended upon the east coast of the , turning the air quality in major cities like New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and D.C., hazardous. The eerie phenomenon has sparked an urgent call to action from city officials and compelled well-known drone documentarian, Casey Neistat, to visually capture this pressing environmental crisis.

Orange Apocalypse captured by drone

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Yesterday and today, City's air quality was reported to be the worst in the world, exceeding even the pollution levels of New Delhi. The acrid smoke blanket, tinged with an apocalyptic orange hue, obscured the city's iconic landmarks and caused air so toxic that municipal officials advised residents to stay indoors.

Casey Neistat, renowned for using drones to chronicle life in NYC, rose to the occasion, employing his expertise to record the severity of the conditions. Through his drone's lens, the usually vibrant city looked otherworldly, engulfed in a choking veil of smoke.

The alarming situation led to air quality alerts being issued for about 128 million people in the U.S., with close to 100 million being under smoke alerts spanning 16 states. On Thursday, another day of poor air quality awaited the east coast, including all five boroughs of NYC.

Nyc Shrouded In Toxic Haze: Drone Chronicles From Casey Neistat

A screenshot showing the Chrysler Building in NYC from drone footage from Lokman Vural elibol / Anadolu Agency via Getty Images.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul described the situation as a “health and environmental crisis,” with Brooklyn and Queens recording Air Quality Index readings of 413 and 407 respectively, far above the normal index of 50. In an unprecedented measure, New Yorkers were warned by Hochul to “simply stay indoors.”

The smoke not only affected people's health but also disrupted everyday life, cancelling outdoor school activities, Broadway shows, and even delaying flights due to “low visibility.”

“Yesterday, New Yorkers saw and smelled something that has never impacted us on this scale before,” New York City's mayor, Eric Adams, said as he urged residents to stay indoors and brace for future occurrences given the escalating issue of climate change.

The distressing situation is a stark reminder of the ripple effects of wildfires, and the smoke from Canadian blazes serves as a grim symbol of an escalating global environmental crisis. It's evident that the issue of wildfires and air quality extends beyond borders, affecting people thousands of miles away from the flames.

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Haye Kesteloo
Haye Kesteloo

Haye Kesteloo is the Editor in Chief and Founder of, where he covers all drone-related news, DJI rumors and writes drone reviews, and, for all news related to electric vehicles. He is also a co-host of the PiXL Drone Show on YouTube and other podcast platforms. Haye can be reached at haye @ or @hayekesteloo.

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