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Smoky smell in NYC is from 1,500-acre NJ fire

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The New York City skyline is covered in haze Monday morning caused by a forest fire in New Jersey.

NEW YORK (PIX11) — A smoky odor settled over New York City Monday as the smell from a New Jersey wildfire wafted eastward, officials said.

“Due to a brush fire in the Wharton State [Forest] in New Jersey, residents in Staten Island & Brooklyn may smell smoke,” the New York City Office of Emergency Management said in a tweet.

The fire was burning in a remote area of Wharton State Forest in southern New Jersey, about 115 miles southwest of New York City, according to the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

The blaze — which was reported about 3:30 p.m. Sunday — had scorched about 1,5000 acres by 11 a.m. Monday, said¬†Lawrence Hajna, with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

It was 50 percent contained as of 11 a.m. with full containment expected later Monday, Hajna sad.

Rain is forecast to hit the area Monday afternoon, dampening the fuel and helping firefighters stamp out the blaze.

The front is expected to push the smoke higher into the atmosphere, which should help dissipate the smoky smell that many New Yorkers encountered, he said.

PIX11 Facebook fans reported smelling smoke in the Upper East Side, Coney Island, Sheepshead Bay and Forrest Hills.

Because of the fire, air quality in New York City has been deemed “Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups,” according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

That means people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion. The general public is not expected to be affected, the agency said.

At 122,880 acres, Wharton State Forest is the largest single tract of land in the New Jersey state park system.

There have been no reports of injuries in the firefight and no structures are threatened, Hanja said.

While state forest officials occasionally set controlled burns in the area, this fire was not one of them, Hanja said. The cause is still under investigation.


  • Cindy

    I smelled it in Spanish Harlem and with the incident that just happen less then a month ago I was worried! :-(

  • RexxSeven

    I live in the Coney Island area of Brooklyn. I noticed a strong smell of smoke coming into my window at about 1am and at 6am the smell was still apparent ( it was on April 7th the same day as the forest fire).

    Now I know what the smell was coming from.

  • Cat

    I live in Bklyn and was out early this Monday morning and I didn't smell anything. Maybe I just didn't notice but ppl are saying it was a heavy smell. That's strange that I never smell anything.

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