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Smoke from Nova Scotia wildfires drifts over NYC: ‘It may smell like a campfire’

That’s not your neighbor’s barbeque.

New Yorkers may notice a smell of smoke in the air akin to a campfire this week, as easterly winds carry in smoke from Canadian wildfires.

The plume of smoke from the raging fires in Nova Scotia is expected to drift hundreds of miles to the southeast over New York City and surrounding regions Tuesday evening into Wednesday, bringing hazy skies and decreased air quality, according to meteorologists.

Fox Weather senior producer and meteorologist Greg Diamond said New Yorkers will begin to see and smell the smoke beginning at 7 p.m. with the fumes sticking around after midnight into the early morning hours. The plume is expected to dissipate and move north out of the tristate area Wednesday evening.

Thick plumes of heavy smoke fill the Halifax sky as an out-of-control fire in a suburban community quickly spread on Sunday.
Smoke rises above treetops from a wildfire near Barrington Lake in Nova Scotia's Shelburne County on May 29.
Nova Scotia Government/AFP via Getty Images

“The main thing you’ll notice is the sky — the skies will be milky, they’ll be a little hazy,” Diamond told The Post. “And occasionally, when that smoke is allowed to get down to the ground, it may smell like a campfire.”

The air quality will decrease due to the smoke’s presence Tuesday into Wednesday. Most people will be unaffected, but the air could be unhealthy for people in sensitive groups — like children, the elderly and those with asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases.

“We’ll never get to dangerous levels of the air quality,” Diamond said. “But those who are sensitive should probably avoid being outdoors for a long period of time, especially if they noticed that smoke is in the air.”

⚠️A plume of Canadian wildfire smoke is forecast to drift over the area Tuesday and could lead to decreased air quality.

Here's one model's depiction of the smoke, where orange colors correlate to concentrations of 25μg/m3 or greater. #NYwx #CTwx #NJwx

— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) May 29, 2023

The haziness could reduce visibility for planes taking off and landing at airports in the area, but likely not enough to cause significant issues or delays, the meteorologist said.

One potential upside to the smoky air, however, is a heightened sunset and sunrise with more “electric color” and “a hazy reddish sky” as the light gets eroded, according to Diamond.

“Our main takeaway — it’s not really going to impact too many people’s live unless you’re very sensitive but it can make for a cool sunset,” he said.

The sun is shrouded as it rises behind the Empire State Building and One Vanderbilt in New York City in a hazy sky caused by smoke drifting into the Northeast of the U.S. from wildfires in Canada on May 22, 2023, as seen from Hoboken, New Jersey.
Getty Images
A helicopter drops water on the Tantallon wildfire, west of Halifax on May 29.
Nova Scotia Government/AFP via Getty Images

Diamond also warned that more smoke could be back in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut over the course of the week as similar weather conditions persist.

“Don’t be surprised if we get another round of smoke coming back into the area again in the next few days,” he said. “Because this pattern is kind of getting locked in a bit for and so it wouldn’t shock me if we see another round of smoke earlier this week, but it’s still uncertain right now.”

The city of Halifax in Nova Scotia declared a state of local emergency Sunday and roughly 16,000 residents were forced to evacuate their homes as crews continued to battle the violent wildfires.

About 200 houses and other buildings have been damaged by the blaze but there have been no reports of injuries, deaths or missing residents as of Tuesday.

With Post wires