The smell of smoke wafted over New York City early Monday after a brush fire broke out in a state forest in central New Jersey, authorities say.
The city’s Office of Emergency Management tweeted that people in Staten Island and Brooklyn might smell smoke from a forest fire burning along 30 acres of land in Wharton State Forest, a large preserve northwest of Atlantic City. The forest is about 90 miles south of midtown Manhattan.
People who live on the Lower East Side and elsewhere in Manhattan also reported smelling the smoke. Chopper 4 captured video of the haze shrouding the city as the sun came up, and the state Department of Environmental Conservation issued an air quality advisory for the five boroughs until 11 p.m.
Storm Team 4 meteorologists say that winds most likely carried the smoke to the area Sunday evening. Winds died down overnight, settling the odor over the city. It became trapped under what meteorologists call an “inversion” in the atmosphere. The air above is warmer than the air at ground level, which means the air doesn’t rise and the smoke doesn’t escape into the atmosphere. That’s why it’s hovering near the ground.