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November 19, 2018

Map shows haze in Philly came from California wildfire smoke

Natural Disasters Wildfires
Carroll - California wildfire smoke in Philly Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

That haze many of you saw in Philadelphia on Monday was actually smoke from the California wildfires.

As California's devastating wildfires burn through a second week of destruction, the wider atmospheric effects are beginning to show up in far flung parts of the United States, including Philadelphia. 

New Jersey-based meteorologist Gary Szatkowski tweeted a map on Monday afternoon that shows smoke plumes have swept cross-country reaching East Coast cities. That explains the hazier-than-normal conditions on a sunny and mild afternoon.

A similar haze was observed in other parts of the country as well. 

Officials at the National Weather Service said it's unlikely that the haze would pose any danger or serious air quality risk on the East Coast. 

The death toll in the California fires had reached 77 on Monday, with nearly 1,000 people still missing. More than 151,000 acres have burned in the Camp Fire since it began 11 days ago. 

In Southern California, the Woolsey Fire has burned through about 96,000 acres, though it's now about 94 percent contained, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. 

Rain is expected to fall in Northern California later this week, according to forecasts, and while it should help smother some of the flames, the loss of vegetation will now raise the risk of mudslides in certain high-risk parts of the state.