Smoke Pouring into U.S from Canadian Wildfires

June 29th, 2015 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

Portions of up to ten plains states are covered by smoke this morning from hundreds of wildfires now raging in western Canada.

Unusually dry weather combined with thousands of dry lightning strikes has caused most of the fires, with some evacuations being reported. The firefighting conditions are reported to be particularly dangerous, with shifting winds and dry timber.

Yesterday’s color satellite imagery from NASA’s MODIS imager shows the pale blue smoke, with some darker brown smoke colors nearer the fire sources in Alberta and Saskatchewan:

Smoke from Canadian wildfires entering the U.S. on 28 June 2015 (NASA MODIS image remapped into Google Earth).

Smoke from Canadian wildfires entering the U.S. on 28 June 2015 (NASA MODIS image remapped into Google Earth).

A close-up view by MODIS reveals just how dirty the smoke is from a couple of the bigger fires in central Saskatchewan (red dots are satellite infrared-diagnosed hotspots):

MODIS close-up view of fires in Canada, June 28, 2015.

MODIS close-up view of fires in Canada, June 28, 2015.

GOES imagery from this morning shows the smoke now extending into Oklahoma, and the area impacted will expand and drift over the eastern U.S. in the coming days.

9 Responses to “Smoke Pouring into U.S from Canadian Wildfires”

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  1. mpainter says:

    Those fires will probably burn out of control until weather conditions change,or the Pacific cools. Here’s one that the alarmists would love to blame on CO2.

    • rah says:

      Of course they will. As if wildfires never happened before and Alaska never experienced a summer with warmer normal temps before the industrial age.

      “Fire Facts

      In the 1700’s, when Captain Cook entered what is now called Cook Inlet, he found caribou, but no moose in the area we know as the Kenai Peninsula. It is thought that the fires of 1941 burned off the spruce and created the first growth birch, willow, and aspen stands—making the area an ideal habitat for moose.

      There is evidence that the entire 25 million acres of the Copper River Basin all burned at some time, long ago.

      The 1977 Bear Creek fire, near Farewell, burned 345,000 acres. Grass grew up after the fire, attracting bison herds to the area. Land and game managers are reburning to maintain a habitat for the bison.

      Between 1940 and 1979, lightning started 4,194 fires in Alaska. These fires were responsible for 83 percent of the acres burned during that period.

      According to game biologists, if there were no fires, there wouldn’t be opportunities for birch, willow, and aspen to grow. All three of these species are staples in a typical moose diet. So, in a weird way, if there were no fires, there would be no moose.

      In Alaska, lightning starts about 400 fires a year.”

      • Norman says:


        Thanks for the link. You are finding similar things to what I find when I do actual research, and ignore the hype.

        Severe weather patterns have been a stable of the Earth complex system. Heavy rains, droughts, floods, famine, cold, heat, blizzards.

        Like the Texas drought of a few years ago all AGW alarmists were using this to prove Climate Change is real and terrible. I looked at some past research on tree rings and they showed there were much worse and longer duration droughts than the recent one. India and Pakistan both have had terrible heat waves.

        Here is one that had a tremendous flood in California in 1861

        Alarmists have no historical view and have lost perspective and scientific integrity.

        • rah says:


          Concerning the Texas drought ending in much above normal precipitation and flooding.

          Joe Bastardi isn’t calling them out by name, but he sure is telling some “Climate Scientists” that they need to fess up. I suspect he’s talking about Dessler and Hayhoe though it certainly could be others. But I think it those two because they are both from Texas universities and both predicted that the Texas drought would last indefinitely but then when the rains and flooding came, said that such extreme weather are the result of Climate Change.

          Here is the Saturday Summary for June 27th where he started to show his exasperation after having called on them to set the record straight previously.
          Other interesting stuff in there also.

          Goddard on the other hand at Real Science, as usual, kicks butt and takes names in several posts on the subject:

          • Norman says:


            Thanks for the links. I would like the science to get back on track. I am sure that Climate Scientist are good researchers. Before I got banned from Skeptical Science a few years back they would always have the alarmist extreme weather posts. I debated with them in such a manner. They gave me a Munich Re weather disaster chart to prove weather was getting worse. I did counter that science would be much better. Climate Scientists could log every thunderstorm and its intensity on a scientific scale that is not sliding (rainfall amount, wind speed, size of storm, lightning strikes). Today all this data is available and can be logged. After a few years of data collection you would have a science study on the trend of severe storms and you could actually have a valid debate about the issue.

            It is like the “500-year Flood” for any river. When one happens the news is all on it and blaming humans for climate change.

            If you look at the total globe there are more than 500 major rivers so on a global scale a 500 year flood could occur every year and not be a big deal within the laws of probability. We now have global coverage of weather and every extreme weather event is broadcast to large amounts of people making the impression weather events are much worse and increasing. Just a few decades ago the news coverage was not so global.

            I have read steven goddard’s blog in the past. He had large amounts of newspaper clippings of severe weather around the USA in the past.

  2. geran says:

    While these big fires are fascinating and exciting, there is also much peril for those in close, especially the firefighters. Godspeed to all involved.

  3. boris says:

    Thanks for posting the images. So far the lower 48 are largely escaping what is promising to be a rock ’em sock ’em wild fire season. @geran Lord protect the firefighters but remember that these days actually fighting the fires takes a secondary role to BLM, Forest Service, and EPA policy goals. We pay a heck of a bunch of money to provide logistical support and equipment, for contract crews that wander around in the vicinity of the fire on “stand-by” at the direction of those bureaucracies.

  4. Max Dupilka says:

    I do fire weather forecasting for the Northwest Territories in Canada (around Great Slave Lake on your photo). There are presently 169 fires burning there, and increasing as I write this. The drought that has been in California has extended right up into the NWT.

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