Wildfire Smoke Shrouds New England, Quebec Blazes raging in Canadian forest send clouds hundreds of miles By M. Morris, Newser Staff Posted May 31, 2010 4:15 PM CDT 9 comments Comments Commuters make their way over the Rideau Canal as a think layer of smoke covers the Ottawa area on Monday, May 31, 2010. The smoke is coming from more than 50 forest fires burning in central Quebec. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick) (Newser) – Massive clouds of smoke from forest fires raging in Quebec have moved south and east across New England, screening the holiday-weekend sun throughout the region. "I just walked to the beach in Sandwich where you can usually see white cliffs in Plymouth, the Sagamore Bridge and sometimes the Provincetown Monument," a Cape Cod resident told WBZ, the CBS affiliate in Boston. "Can't see any of them today." The smell of smoke pervades the region, and it's so strong that public-safety authorities have been busy assuring residents the fires aren't local. Visibility is low in New Hampshire, the Union Leader reports, and Massachusetts has issued an air quality alert, according to the Boston Globe. Rain in eastern Canada and a shift in the wind direction later today are expected to bring relief.