Here’s What Caused a Smoky Haze Over Portland, South Portland and Scarborough Friday Afternoon
For at least a few hours on Friday afternoon, portions of Southern Maine got a sneak preview of summer. Most towns and cities spent the day in the 70's and a handful of communities eclipsed the 80 degree mark. But the mood changed in the afternoon for Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Westbrook and a handful of other places when a haze overtook the sky.
Shared on Facebook by South Portland Professional Fire Fighters Local 1476, that haze and heavy smoke fire is what most people believed it to be, the remnants of a fire. But that fire was a lot further away than most people likely realized. All that smoke and smell was coming from Richmond Island off the coast of Cape Elizabeth.
Typically when controlled burns take place, information is gathered in advance about what the wind patterns will likely be as to not interrupt or interfere with travel conditions or the everyday hustle and bustle of life. Unfortunately for this controlled burn, the wind conditions shifted quickly and began pushing smoke directly towards Portland and South Portland. That left several cities seeing and smelling the remnants all afternoon long.
It left those working or enjoying the outdoors with rather distasteful conditions. The haze was heavy and the smoke smell severe leading to complaints of red and itchy eyes, irritated nostrils and coughing.
Ultimately, the good news is that the smoke and haze didn't come from a fire that was out of control and putting people, animals or other structures in danger.
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