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Massive Plumes Of Carbon Monoxide Drift Over Midwest, East Coast From California Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The historic wildfire outbreak in Northern California, Oregon and Washington state was generating massive plumes of carbon monoxide that have drifted all the way across the country to Chicago, New York and other cities, according to data collected from NASA satellites.

NASA's Atmospheric Infrared Sounder aboard the Aqua satellite captured the carbon monoxide plumes over the last week. The images revealed the path of the plumes as they rode the winds eastward.

Click for interactive map of the plumes progress

"Released by the fires along with smoke and ash, carbon monoxide is a pollutant that can persist in the atmosphere for about a month and can be transported great distances," NASA said in a news release.

The National Weather Service in Boston tweeted of the cloudy skies predicted for Wednesday-- "This is smoke lofted well aloft in the atmosphere emanating from the Western U.S. wildfires."

Over 16,600 firefighters remain on the front lines of 25 major wildfires and two extended attack wildfires in California on Tuesday. The total acreage burned so far in the fires spanning over a little over a month is 2.8 million.

Since August 15, when California's fire activity elevated, there have been 25 fatalities and over 4,200 structures destroyed.

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