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Western Wildfires Smoke Creating Haze Over New England

BOSTON (CBS) - The haze over southern New England Tuesday is from the smoke created by the wildfires in the western United States.

It has been called a "once in a generation event," as dozens of large wildfires continue to burn across parts of Washington, Oregon and California. Thousands of homes and businesses have been reduced to ashes. Hundreds of thousands of people have been evacuated from Oregon alone.

California has seen nearly 8,000 wildfires this year so far, about 3,000 more than last year at this time.

Now, evidence of the destruction is traveling across the U.S. as upper level, jet stream winds are carrying the immense smoke plumes all the way to the East Coast.

Hazy skies have been reported from the upper Midwest to New York and parts of New England.

The good news is the smoke particles will stay well up into the atmosphere, so you won't smell anything and this will not create an air quality alert in Massachusetts.

We've seen hundreds of amazing pictures of vibrant, orange-colored sunrises and sunsets throughout the Northeast. And, what would normally be a deep blue, fall airmass over New England, instead has an orangey hue.

The smokey skies over the Midwest and Northeast will be most pronounced in the next 48 hours. After that, the smoke is likely to get a bit more dispersed by a sharpening trough in the Midwest as the remnants of Hurricane Sally start to head northward.

In fact, some of the smoke will get drawn into Sally's circulation over the southeastern U.S. later this week.

(WBZ-TV graphic)

Most importantly, some rain is forecast to arrive in parts of the Northwest by Friday, finally providing some relief to what has been a long and deadly fire season.

Follow Terry on Twitter @TerryWBZ

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