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Smoke from south N.J. wildfire smelled on Long Island

A brush fire burns Sunday, April 6, 2014,

A brush fire burns Sunday, April 6, 2014, along Batsto Road in Wharton State Forest in southern New Jersey. The smell of smoke was reported as far north as New York City. Credit: News 12 New Jersey

An uncommon meteorological condition had residents on Long Island and the metropolitan area smelling smoke from a southern New Jersey wildfire yesterday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

The fire, which began Sunday, had burned more than 1,500 acres in the Wharton State Forest outside Philadelphia, The Associated Press reported.

An air quality health advisory was in effect through 11 p.m. yesterday for counties that included Queens, Kings, New York and the Bronx, due to the "fine particulates" in the air.

Weather Service meteorologist Tim Morrin said "an extraordinarily strong inversion" -- a condition that amounts to putting a lid on the lower atmosphere -- kept the smoke from that fire from dispersing into the upper atmosphere.

That, coupled with what Morrin called "transport winds" from the southwest, drove the smell of smoke north from the fire into the metro area and Long Island.

But later in the day, the inversion phenomenon was broken up by rain and shifting winds, the weather service said, and the wildfire was knocked down -- all of which reduced the plume of smoke and related odor.

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