The smoky haze that blanketed northern New York and Vermont Sunday evening and Monday morning was due not to any blaze in the U.S. but about 57 forest fires in central Quebec, authorities said.
The Adirondacks, northeastern New York, most of New England and portions of Pennsylvania were covered with the haze, which was blown south from Quebec and into the U.S.
The smoke was dense enough in some areas to prompt National Weather Service oficials to warn citizens with respiratory limitations to limit their activities outside, avoid breathing the smoky air, or stay inside.
These officials said that northerly light winds had moved the smoke into the U.S. and an air inversion kept it in place.
But meteorologists predicted Monday that the wind direction would be changing by the end of the day to provide relief from the acrid smog for those in the U.S. by blowing the smoky air back into Canada.
By Monday morning, the Quebec fires had burned nearly 100,000 acres of woodlandsand had forced about 2,000 Quebec residents from their homes. Nine of the 57 fires remained out of control Monday at noon, Canadian officials reported.
Canadian authorities said that prevailing dry conditions in much of Canada has raised the fire hazard and hampered firefighting efforts.
So far in 2010, about one third more forest fires have occurred, burning about one-half more acres than normal by this time of year, they said.