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Spooky skies over Ontario, the culprit is thousands of kilometres away

Thursday, October 22nd 2020, 6:50 pm - Smoke from a rapidly growing wildfire in Colorado has been driven by mid-level winds into Ontario's Nickel Belt.

If you live in Ontario's Nickel Belt region, the skies above would have taken a hue well-suited to the Halloween season Thursday.

Several Weather Network viewers reported seeing a distinct orange tinge to skies above some northern cities, including Sault Ste. Marie, Whitefish, and Wahnapitae, near Greater Sudbury. At least one viewer reported even smelling the faint odour of smoke.

Here's how things looked in the region Thursday afternoon:

Orange skies audrey crack s. ste. marie Ontario UGC Audrey Crack, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

Orange skies helga burton whitefish ontario Image: Helga Burton, Whitefish, Ont.

Orange skies meaghan landry wahnapitae ON UGC Image: Meaghan Landry, Wahnapitae, Ont.

This has happened in Canadian skies a few times this past season, and the culprit is, once again, raging wildfires in the United States, parts of which, such as California, are having a record year.

This time, however, the culprit is not in California, but Colorado. Known as the East Troublesome Fire, this particular blaze exploded in size between Wednesday and Thursday, quadrupling from around 10,000 hectares to 40,000 hectares (125,000 acres).

East Troublesome Fire Colorado

SEE ALSO: Significant shift in the pattern ends national weather divide

Numerous evacuation orders have been issued for several communities in and around the state's Estes Park, where the fire is burning.

Worsening matters are firefighters' traditional foes: Dry conditions, and strong winds. Mid-level winds are also why Ontarians saw some hazy conditions, carrying the smoke aloft around 2,000 kilometres, over Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

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