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Prairie wildfire NASA photos

Smoke from Canadian wildfires visible from space

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, June 9, 2015, 3:01 PM - Smoke from an unusually active wildfire season continues to billow, creating hazy skies in the U.S. On Tuesday, NASA released a recent satellite image of Alberta and the Northwest Territories that prominently features smoke from active fires.

The images were taken May 28, 2015, and the patches of smoke have been outlined in red.

"Summer weather brings warm, sultry days, but it also brings summer storms and lightning, which is one of the natural ways that fires begin," NASA says in a statement.

"The other culprit for starting fires is humans. Human-started fires actually account for close to 90 percent of wildfires that occur. The Northwest Territories Wildfire is reporting that to date there have been 46 fires that have burned 40,632 hectares."

Wildfires have been unusually active on the Prairies as well.

So far, Saskatchewan has seen 347 active wildfires to date, almost three times the amount seen by this time last year. 

In Alberta, more than 78,000 hectares have been scorched.

"The whole Prairie region has been dry over the last two months," Trevor Hadwen, an agroclimate specialist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, tells The Weather Network.

"Lack of snowfall this past winter and an early spring and warm conditions very early took away all the moisture that the snow would normally provide."

Courtesy: Jeff Schmaltz LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team, GSFC


Smoke from the wildfires has blown into parts of the U.S. Midwest, creating hazy skies and beautiful sunsets, The Weather Channel reports.

Hazy, smoke-filled skies could be observed from commercial flights approaching Chicago Tuesday morning.
Satellite images taken Monday show large plumes of smoke over northern Minnesota, southwest Ontario and parts of Manitoba.

Courtesy: The Weather Channel/NASA WorldView

Sources: NASA | Government of Saskatchewan | Alberta Wildfire Management | The Weather Channel

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