Operational Significant Event Imagery (OSEI) The following significant events were identified by Satellite Analysis Branch meteorologists and reviewed by the OSEI support team of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA):
Fires burning in Quebec, Canada
NESDIS/OSEI NOAA-14 POES AVHRR LAC satellite images Left: Heat signatures (red) and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning in Quebec. Right: Image showing a wider view of the area displayed in the left picture. IMAGE D18602: NOAA-14 HRPT> Channels 3, 2, 1 <> 07/06/2002 22:04 UTC<>Multichannel color composite<>Quebec (Source: OSEI/NOAA)
MONTREAL, 7 July Firefighters battled dozens of raging forest fires in Quebec on Sunday, as smoke and haze from the blazes blanketed the northeastern United States and stretched as far south as Washington, D.C., with thick patches covering parts of New York state.
New York and Pennsylvania advised residents with respiratory and heart conditions to stay indoors. The New York alert was statewide. Pennsylvanias covered 20 counties. At least 85 fires 10 of them out of control were burning Sunday, the Quebec forest fire protection service said. They have destroyed more than 250,000 acres of forest. With no rain expected before Thursday, the fires will likely grow, the service spokesman Eric Santerre said. Lightning and dry conditions sparked the fires that have been burning since 2 July 2002 in two separate regions southeast of James Bay between 200 and 400 miles north of the U.S. border.
THEY ARE TOO BIG More than 500 firefighters some in planes dropping water worked to control 45 fires in a region above Lake St. Jean about 150 miles north of Quebec City, Santerre said. For part of them we are doing nothing for now because they are too big, he said. These are really big fires. We are using firebreaks, sprinklers, hoses and motorized pumps. In the Nemiscau region south of James Bay, about 40 fires were burning. Some 75 firefighters dug firebreaks and poured water on the flames, but dense smoke prevented use of aircraft to drop water. The fires in Nemiscau have led to the evacuation of 630 inhabitants in two Cree Indian villages, Nemaska and Chisasibi.
HAZY BALTIMORE Downtown Baltimore experienced haze and a smoky smell Sunday, said meteorologist Dewey Walston of the Sterling, Va., office. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection advised residents of 20 counties, especially those with respiratory conditions, to stay indoors until Monday afternoon. The New York Health Department urged those with respiratory conditions to stay indoors and turn on their air conditioners to reduce exposure to the smoke. Its quite evident something is in the air, said department spokeswoman Kristine Smith.
AIR TRAVEL AFFECTED The plume of smoke, which blanketed Montreal, also affected air travel in New York. All of our major airports are reporting smoke and haze and visibility restrictions of two miles, said David Wally of the National Weather Service in New York City. Wally said the plume probably will shift north and east by Monday morning, moving off the New England coast. The smoke had moved from north-central Pennsylvania to the southeastern part of the state by Sunday afternoon, said Peter Jung, a National Weather Service meteorologist in State College, Pa.
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