Canadian Fires Send Smoke Over New England

Canadian Fires Send Smoke Over New England

A thick river of smoke flowed southeast over New England from several large forest fires in southern Quebec, Canada on May 31, 2010. These images show both the fires (top image) and the thick smoke they produced (lower image). Red boxes outline the fires north of Quebec, Canada, in the top image, which was taken by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite on May 30, 2010. Dense smoke pours from the fires and blows southeast toward the city of Quebec, a cement gray region along the St. Lawrence River.

By the following day, the smoke had reached New England and flowed over the North Atlantic Ocean. The MODIS sensor on NASA’s Terra satellite captured the lower image at 11:10 a.m. U.S. Eastern time on May 31. The image covers a much broader region than the top image. A pale gray smoke plume spans the entire width of the image—about 1,900 kilometers (1,200 miles). The plume is over 200 kilometers (120 miles) wide near Cape Cod, but it narrows offshore. The fires are under cloud and just beyond the upper edge of the image, but the St. Lawrence River and Quebec are visible.

On May 30, the Canadian Interagency Fire Center reported 54 fires in Quebec, eight of which were burning out of control. As of June 1, at least 1,300 people had been evacuated from communities threatened by the fires, reported the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. The smoke brought air quality to unhealthy levels in the province of Quebec and throughout much of New England on May 31.

  1. References

  2. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation News. (2010, June 1). Rain helps Quebec forest fire battle. Accessed June 1, 2010.
  3. Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center Inc. (2010, May 30). National wildland fire situation report May 30, 2010, 15:00 hours. Accessed June 1, 2010.
  4. Sawamura, P. (2010, May 31). Smoke causing unhealthy levels (code red) of PM2.5 in the Northeast. U.S. Air Quality, The Smog Blog. University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Accessed June 1, 2010.

Images & Animations

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File Dimensions

Quebec_AMO_2010150.jpg
    Fires in Quebec, Canada
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  • JPEG
Quebec_AMO_2010150_lrg.jpg
    Fires in Quebec, Canada
  • 2200x1600
  • JPEG 903 KB
quebec_amo_2010150_geo.tif
    Fires in Quebec, Canada
  • 2200x1600
  • GeoTIFF 11 MB
ge_44138_01.kml
    Fires in Quebec, Canada
  • KML 64 KB
canada_TMO_2010151.jpg
    Smoke over New England and the North Atlantic
  • 720x480
  • JPEG
canada_TMO_2010151_lrg.jpg
    Smoke over New England and the North Atlantic
  • 8192x5916
  • JPEG 5 MB
atlantic_tmo_2010151_geo.tif
    Smoke over New England and the North Atlantic
  • 6800x5200
  • GeoTIFF 83 MB
ge_44138_02.kml
    Smoke over New England and the North Atlantic
  • KML 43 KB

Metadata

  • Data Date:

    May 31, 2010
  • Visualization Date:

    June 1, 2010
  • Sensor(s):

    Terra - MODIS

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