June 24, 2024 10:05 am

Canadian wildfire smoke returns to parts of the Midwest and Northeast

The devastating wildfire emergency continues across a large swath of Canada, with numerous large fires burning out of control, from British Columbia to Newfoundland and Labrador as of Monday afternoon.

The smoke is sweeping south across parts of the Midwest, including the Ohio River Valley, and will spread to much of the Northeast over the next 24 hours, peaking on Tuesday and forecast to disperse on Wednesday, according to meteorologists.

Hazy skies are likely in these regions Tuesday and possibly linger into Wednesday.

Air quality alerts are in effect from Minnesota to Vermont, including cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago and Burlington, Vermont. Air quality issues could expand into more locations. Much of that smoke is coming from wildfires in the Quebec province, according to meteorologists.

There have been nearly 400 forest fires in the province so far this year, while the 10-year average is 197, data from the fire prevention nonprofit SOPFEU shows, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

Projections show there will be increased fire activity across Canada during the 2023 wildfire season due to drought conditions and warm temperatures, according to Natural Resources of Canada.

On Sunday, dry weather and strong winds in the Midwest increased the wildfire risk, with a large portion of Michigan being placed under a red flag warning, meteorologists said.

PHOTO: Weather map showing air quality issues alerts, June 5, 2023.
Weather map showing air quality issues alerts, June 5, 2023.
PHOTO: Weather map showing wildfire smoke forecast, June 5, 2023.
Weather map showing wildfire smoke forecast, June 5, 2023.

The Wilderness Trail Fire in Michigan, which began on Saturday, has burned thousands of acres and is 90% contained, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources said.

Scattered thunderstorms will be possible in areas of the country Monday afternoon into Tuesday.

A few strong thunderstorms could bring downpours, hail and frequent lightning, with it most likely happening in parts of northern Nevada, West Texas and into the Southeast on Tuesday, according to meteorologists.

Warm weather is expected to remain across much of the South and as far north as the Dakotas, according to meteorologists.

Dry conditions are likely in much of the Southwest, with scattered showers and thunderstorms possible in parts of the Northwest.

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