Smoke from Cal­i­for­nia fires spreads to New York

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Wildf Ires - BY MICHAEL MCGOUGH mm­c­[email protected]

Satel­lite images and fore­casts from the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice show that smoke from North­ern Cal­i­for­nia’s mas­sive, rag­ing wild­fires is car­ry­ing as far east as New York City.

The smoke layer reach­ing the East Coast is about a mile high, the NWS says. At that height, it does not pose sig­nif­i­cant health risks to peo­ple in the area, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent Ge­or­gia Tech study cited by NASA.

In fact, at that al­ti­tude, New York­ers can likely nei­ther see nor smell the smoke. But it’s ei­ther there or will be soon, fore­cast mod­els show.

The Carr and Men­do­cino Com­plex fires that have raged in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia — the for­mer hav­ing killed at least eight peo­ple, and the lat­ter hav­ing sur­passed 300,000 acres and be­com­ing the largest in state his­tory — are both still burn­ing, nei­ther fully con­tained. Other ma­jor fires, such as the Fer­gu­son Fire burn­ing near Yosemite, have also wreaked havoc.

Air qual­ity has been an is­sue in Sacra­mento for sev­eral days but with con­di­tions ex­pected to im­prove over the week­end, the smoke has to go some­where. As CNN ex­plains, smoke from wild­fires is car­ried ver­ti­cally by winds. Once there, the jet stream car­ries it east­ward, dip­ping slightly to the south through parts of the Mid­west be­fore head­ing back up to­ward New Eng­land.

There have been re­ports of heavy smoke and hazy con­di­tions in places as far east as Min­nesota.

Smoke reach­ing 3,000 miles to the other side of the coun­try may sound crazy, but it’s not un­heard of in re­cent times. Last fall, wild­fire smoke from the Pa­cific North­west car­ried across the coun­try; NASA re­ported that the jet stream also helped drag that smoke.

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