Quebec Fires Cloud Up Memorial Day for Some

Cynthia Dermody

lightning in black and white
Flickr photo by longhorndave
What's your Memorial Day weather like?

Mine is stellar, you'll be jealous: It's sunny, almost cloudless, 80 degrees, with a light breeze. Now if only the kids would quit whining, it would really be the perfect day.

A couple hours to the north and east of where I'm sitting right now, it's a different weather story. An otherwise rain-free forecast is clouded over with haze and smoke from brush fires in Quebec, Canada that have been ravaging the central and northern regions of that province.

A wind shift had been billowing the smoke downward to the U.S. over the weekend.

Residents in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, not knowing that the smoke was from another country and not right below them, have woken up and placed calls to their local fire departments, many of which are scrambling to find volunteers to respond.

The brush fires, which are not uncommon in Quebec, were believed to have started this week due to lighting and dry conditions. Officials estimate about 60 blazes burning, and about 9 of them are out of control.

Canada has enlisted the help of firefighting planes from Manitoba to try to get the blazes under control, and they are hoping for a wind shift today that will put an end to the migrating smoke. Meantime, New Englanders with breathing conditions are suggested to stay indoors or at least limit outdoor activities.

Not really what you want to do on a holiday weekend, but there's always sports on TV.

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