Unusual weather traps smell of forest fire from 90 miles away over NYC

Unusual meteorological conditions have trapped smoke from a fire in New Jersey's Wharton State Forest over New York City.
By Frances Burns  |  April 7, 2014 at 10:15 AM
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NEW YORK, April 7 (UPI) -- New Yorkers woke Monday to the smell of a forest fire burning 90 miles away in southern New Jersey and trapped over the city by a temperature inversion.

The fire in a remote area in Wharton State Forest in between Philadelphia and Atlantic City had spread to about 1,500 acres Monday morning. While it is about 3 miles from the village of Batsto, state police said it was under control and posing no threat to buildings.

Tim Morrin of the National Weather Service said a low northern wind carried the smell to Staten Island, Brooklyn and much of the rest of the city. Unusual weather with low temperatures close to the ground and higher ones above trapped the smoke, but Morrin said rain would disperse it Monday afternoon.

“The inversion is acting like a lid, trapping the smoke,” Morrin said.

Fires are common in the Pine Barrens -- a large sandy area in South Jersey covered with pine and oak trees -- but they seldom make their presence smelled so far away.

[New York Times]

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