Published: 14:50 BST, 15 September 2020 | Updated: 22:02 BST, 15 September 2020
Smoke from a spate of devastating wildfires blazing in the West Coast has blown thousands of miles across the country covering New York, the Midwest and Canada.
California, Oregon and Washington state are battling fires of historic proportion that have razed more than five million acres and left 36 people dead.
The intense smoke has blanketed San Francisco in orange and greyish smoke and winds are moving that smoke eastward.
Wind has blown medium smoke coverage across upper western US to Michigan and the Great Lakes region and over New York.
Wind has also pushed medium smoke southwest to Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, and light smoke coverage ending in the Mid-Atlantic, according the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Satellite and Product Operations.
Smoke from a spate of devastating wildfires blazing in the West Coast has blown thousands of miles across the country covering New York, the Midwest and Canada. This map shows how medium smoke coverage is affecting Illinois, Michigan, and light smoke coverage is hitting the East Coast
This map shows the thick smog of smoke spreading over the East Coast from the wildfires in California, Oregon and Washington on Tuesday. Most of this smoke should be between 15,000 and 20,000 feet above ground level
Hazy NYC: The sun rises behind the Empire State Building Tuesday morning in a haze created from smoke from the west coast wildfires as seen from Hoboken, New Jersey
‘Even though we have a sunny and dry forecast coming up, don’t be surprised if it’s more of a milky sun, or filtered sun,’ Meterologist Lee Goldberg with ABC7 said of smoke coverage effecting New York City Monday
New York Metro Weather said that the smoke will remain at 15,000 to 20,000 feet and won’t impact ground level air quality. The main effects of the incoming smoke will be hazy skies and cooler temperatures
There are currently 87 large wildfires burning in 10 states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.
On Monday and Tuesday, New York City saw a hazy sky and grey clouds as a result of the incoming smoke. New England is anticipated to see the brownish haze on Tuesday again.
Meteorologists say with dry Canadian air headed out way we would normally see cobalt-blue skies, but instead the Big Apple saw a cloudy, murky sky.
‘Even though we have a sunny and dry forecast coming up, don’t be surprised if it’s more of a milky sun, or filtered sun,’ Meterologist Lee Goldberg with ABC7 said.
‘Been thinking it’s been oddly overcast in NYC today without any rain forecast. Then I looked up at the sun and saw that it was red. Guys- that’s the smoke from the west coast. It’s making the sky in NEW YORK hazy,’ one Twitter noted.
‘Wow the sky in New York is super hazy this morning from the west coast fires as predicted. Forecast was supposed to be sunny,’ another added.
Satellite imagery on Saturday showed an area, marked orange, of smoke that has reached as far east as Michigan, about 2,000 miles away from the West Coast
The smoke was blanketing an area of almost one million square miles, according to this satellite photo
Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management produced a map showing the fires in red, concentrated in Oregon and California
One man shared a photo of the grey and orange streaked smoke over the Hudson River saying: ‘We’re all connected. The smoke from the West Coast fires have reached New York City. The sky was hazy and the sun appeared like a flat disc, trying desperately to shine through.’
From North Dakota to New York air quality is still considered ‘good’ in areas where smoke has traveled, according to CNN.
The National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center shared a startling satellite image on Saturday showing smoke billowing across the West, right into Michigan – a distance of around 2,000 miles.
‘Here is a visible satellite image valid at 2pm PDT showing the vast extent of the wildfire smoke,’ the agency tweeted on Saturday.
‘The area in the orange contour is smoke in the mid-upper levels of the atmosphere that has reached as far east as Michigan! The red contour is the dense smoke near the West Coast.’
Meanwhile residents of Oregon, Washington and California are suffering the worst, most unhealthy air on the planet according to some measurements under the swathe of yellow and orange smog. In those states the air quality is considered hazardous, according to AirNow, an air quality database maintained by government agencies.
A heavy layer of wildfire smoke hangs in the air as deer forage on a farm near Elkton in rural western Oregon on Monday
Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality extended an air quality alert to Thursday after it was to initially expire on Monday.
Alaska Airlines announced Monday it was suspending service to Portland, Oregon and Spokane, Washington due to the foul skies through Tuesday 3pm local time.
‘Across the West, fires are creating thick smoke and haze, causing very poor air quality conditions in the Portland and Spokane areas. We made the difficult decision to stop our operation so that our employees and guests can remain safe,’ the airline said.
‘I grew up in Oregon and lived here a long time, and to see this much smoke for this long and wide spreading, really stands out in the state’s history,’ Dylan Darling, a spokesman for the state’s department of Environmental Quality, said.
Some areas in central California suffering from smoke may not see relief until October, according to Dan Borsum, an incident meteorologist for a fire in Northern, California.
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have all said global warming is priming forests for wildfires as they become hotter and drier. But during a visit Monday to California, President Trump pointed to how states manage forests and said, ‘It will start getting cooler, just you watch’
Trump and Gov. Gavin Newsom pictured speaking at Sacramento McClellan Airport on Monday during a briefing on wildfires
In Oregon 10 people have been killed, in California 25 people have died and one person was killed in Washington state. In California, where more than 16,500 firefighters are battling 28 major wildfires.
The death toll grew by one Monday after officials discovered the remains of someone believed killed by the blaze in Butte County, Sheriff Kory L. Honea said.
The state’s deadliest fire is the North Complex in the Sierra Nevada Mountains north of Sacramento which has killed at least 15 people.
In Oregon forests have burned at an unprecedented level this past week with megafires scorching 100,000 acres or more. The fires are fueled by low moisture and strong winds and wildfire-prone conditions are in effect through Tuesday.
In Oregon nearly three dozen fires were active Monday night and around one million acres had burned with more than 1,100 residences confirmed destroyed.
Oregon officials say more than 20 are missing and the number of fatalities is likely to rise.
Oregon State police opened the first-ever mobile morgue in response to the fires, setting it up in Linn County.
A separate facility is expected to open this week where families of the dead and missing can undergo rapid DNA testing to aid in identification, according to Oregon Live.
The state has activated a 75-member regional response team to recover remains in the field and operate the mobile morgue.
Firefighters search through a burned residence after the passage of the Bear fire, part of the larger North Lightning Complex fire, in the Berry Creek area of unincorporated Butte county, California on Monday
Feather Falls Union School is seen burned by the Bear fire, part of the larger North Lightning Complex fire, in Oroville, California on Monday
The state received grant funding for the program a dozen years ago and though they trained for such a somber event, they never had to use it before.
A team of dozens of experts including certified death investigators, law enforcement personnel, criminalists, and forensic scientists will aid in the effort.
They’ll use fingerprinting, dental and X-ray stations as examinations by forensic anthropologists and pathologists to identify fire victims.
Oregon State Police Capt. Tim Fox said the state opened the facility to ease the burden on local medical examiners’ offices and to quickly identify remains ‘so we can give family members closure as soon as possible. We understand this is a super tragic event. We understand this is hard.’
The governors of California, Oregon and Washington have all said global warming is priming forests for wildfires as they become hotter and drier.
But during a visit Monday to California, President Trump pointed to how states manage forests and said, ‘It will start getting cooler, just you watch.’
‘There has to be good strong forest management. So hopefully they’ll start doing that,’ Trump said when he landed in Sacramento, refusing once again to acknowledge that climate change may play a role in the increasingly common wildfires.
A couple walks by a small replica of the Statue of Liberty as smoke from wildfires fills the air at Alki Beach Park in Seattle on September 12
‘We’ve had temperatures explode this summer. We broke a record in the Death Valley, 130 degrees,’ Crowfoot said.
‘We’re seeing this warming trend make our summers warmer and our winters warmer. We want to work with you to recognize our changing climate.
‘If we ignore that science and out our heads in the sand and think it’s all about vegetation management, we’re not going to succeed in protecting Californians.’
In Oregon, adding to the chaos are looters and armed patrol groups illegally stopping people in evacuation zones.
Clackamas County Sheriff Crag Roberts said Monday that his agency responded to more than 330 calls for service over the past week – a 400 percent increase from the previous week.
In Oregon, adding to the chaos are looters and armed patrol groups illegally stopping people in evacuation zones
Clackamas County Sheriff Crag Roberts said Monday that his agency responded to more than 330 calls for service over the past week – a 400 percent increase from the previous week of people trying to protect their property or threatening others armed with guns. Some locals have erected signs like this one saying: ‘You loot we shoot’
‘We have a group of different individuals that are actually trying to protect property. They actually have been armed and are stopping individuals within the commune out there. First thing I’d ask them to do is please stop that. We have reached out to a number of them. If they see somebody suspicious, call us. Let us handle it. It is illegal to stop somebody at gunpoint,’ he said.
He revealed that many people are going into these areas to fetch some of their belongings.
Several makeshift spray paint signs in Colton and Estacada Oregon have emerged threatening to shoot those who trespass on property.
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