"PORTLAND, Ore. — Smoke and ash from massive wildfires in the American West clouded the sky and led to air quality alerts Wednesday on parts of the East Coast as the effects of the blazes were felt 2,500 miles (4,023 kilometers) away.
Strong winds blew smoke east from California, Oregon, Montana and other states all the way to other side of the continent. Haze hung over New York City, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The nation’s largest wildfire, Oregon’s Bootleg Fire, grew to 618 square miles (1,601 square kilometers) — just over half the size of Rhode Island. Fires also burned on both sides of California’s Sierra Nevada and in Washington state and other areas of the West.
The smoke blowing to the East Coast was reminiscent of last fall, when large blazes burning in Oregon’s worst wildfire season in recent memory choked the local sky with pea-soup smoke but also affected air quality several thousand miles away. So far this year, Seattle and Portland have largely been spared the foul air.
People in parts of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and elsewhere with heart disease, asthma and other health issues were told to avoid the outdoors. Air quality alerts for parts of the region were in place through Thursday."