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Satellite Images Show Spread of Wildfire Smoke Across Eastern U.S.

Satellite Images Show Spread of Wildfire Smoke Across Eastern U.S.

Wildfire smoke darkens skies across the Eastern U.S., June 7, 2023.

Wildfire smoke darkens skies across the Eastern U.S., June 7, 2023. CIRA / NOAA

Satellite imagery shows the vast extent of wildfires in Canada and the lingering veil of smoke over the Eastern U.S.

A heavy haze grounded flights and spurred “Code Purple” air quality alerts in eastern cities this week as wildfires gave rise to record levels of air pollution. While air quality is slowly improving, smoky conditions persist, as shown in satellite images from Colorado State University’s Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada lingers over the Eastern U.S., June 8, 2023.

Smoke from wildfires in Canada lingers over the Eastern U.S., June 8, 2023. CIRA / NOAA

Close to 430 wildfires are burning across Canada, including more than 140 in Quebec, and most fires remain out of control. Satellite images show blazes erupting in Quebec this week, sending smoke south toward the U.S.

Large wildfires burn in Quebec, June 6, 2023.

Large wildfires burn in Quebec, June 6, 2023. CIRA / NOAA

So far this year, wildfires have scorched more than 12 million acres in Canada. Along with hotspots in Quebec, more than 140 fires are burning in Alberta and British Columbia, shown below. Scientists expect that wildlife smoke will reach as far as Norway.

Wildfires burn in Alberta and British Columbia, June 7, 2023.

Wildfires burn in Alberta and British Columbia, June 7, 2023. CIRA / NOAA

The National Weather Service said that, heading into the weekend, smoke “is expected to continue plaguing regions from the Great Lakes to the Mid-Atlantic with reduced air quality.”

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