Warning issued after smoke from Quebec forest fires pushed into Maine

Smoke from forest fires in northwest Quebec have created hazy conditions in northern Maine, obscuring hills looking west over the St. John Valley.
Julia Bayly
Smoke from forest fires in northwest Quebec have created hazy conditions in northern Maine, obscuring hills looking west over the St. John Valley. Buy Photo
By Julia Bayly, BDN Staff
Posted July 01, 2013, at 8:02 p.m.

FORT KENT, Maine — The Maine Department of Environmental Protection has issued a limited health notice for much of northern and central Maine in response to smoke from Quebec wildfires which reached Maine late Monday.

The Maine DEP has put the northern and central portions of the state under a “moderate/yellow” level for particle pollution, according to the department’s website.

Moderate/yellow levels are a “limited health notice,” according to the website, and “sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.”

According to meteorologist Tim Duda at the National Weather Service in Caribou, the fires appear to be in the northwest portion of the province near the Ontario border.

“A northwest to north air flow has resulted in reduced visibility in the northern part of the state,” Duda said Monday evening.

Duda said conditions will continue to push the smoke into Maine for at least the first half of Tuesday before a frontal system enters the state and pushes the smoke back towards Canada.

“It looks like the fires are way back up in the north,” he said. “It’s not necessarily unusual for smoke to get caught up in the windflow and have it [travel] right down across the state.”

Information on the DEP statement is available on the website http://www.maine.gov/dep/air/ozone/.

http://bangordailynews.com/2013/07/01/news/aroostook/warning-issued-after-smoke-from-quebec-forest-fires-pushed-into-maine/ printed on July 24, 2014