Smoke from distant Canadian wildfires has made its way across the United States the past few days, bringing hazy skies and colorful sunsets to the Midwest and East Coast.
In Chicago, the skies were reported as being “milky-looking,” while in Nebraska, the forecast was for “filtered sun.”
However, it’s nothing like what the skies looked like near the fires. In Edmonton, Alberta, the skies were recently so red and smoky that a local meteorologist told NASA. “it looked like we were on Mars,” according to Mashable.
More than two dozen fires are burning in Alberta and 10,000 people have been forced from their homes.
Wildfire Today said several wildfires in western Canada have so far spread across 568,000 acres.
A few days ago, Discover magazine reported that smoke from the fires covered as much as 2.7 million square miles of North America.
Some smoke even wafted its way across the pond to the United Kingdom, where the stunning sunset colors there were partly due to the wildfires across parts of Canada, the UK Met Office said.
AccuWeather warned that wildfire smoke can lead to many health hazards, especially in those who suffer from respiratory illnesses, and can cause irritation of the throat and eyes.
However, according to the National Weather Service, the smoke from the fires is far up high in the atmosphere, and there are no current air quality alerts related to the smoke.
With all of the rain across the U.S. this spring, wildfires have not been an issue so far this year. Only about 293,000 acres have burned. This is far below the average of 1,379,802 acres, the National Interagency Fire Center said.