Hazy skies in Minnesota produced by Canadian wildfires - KMSP-TV

Hazy skies in Minnesota produced by Canadian wildfires

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It's summertime and wildfires are pretty common place, not only in the United States but in much of North America. Summer is often feast or famine when it comes to rainfall because there is more heat and moisture. 

If it rains, it often falls at an alarming rate. In some cases, more than 5 inches an hour. This causes flash flooding in many areas because the soil just can't soak up that much water that quickly.

But hot temperatures can often lead to drought even after short periods of time which will lead to drought, like much of the Upper Midwest experienced just this time last year.

Some parts of Canada are experiencing that very same phenomena with little moisture falling since the snow melted a good two months ago. This is where wildfires have erupted burning tens of thousands of acres.

In many cases though, these fires are in exceedingly remote areas that just can't be easily accessed. They are tough enough by plane, but next to impossible to get to by vehicle because there just aren't any roads.

So in most cases, these fires are just left to burn themselves out because no one is around to fight them. This can lead to these fires continuing for weeks allowing them to spread a tremendous amount of smoke.

Here is where wildfires of all different sizes reside in Canada.

The yellow triangles are the largest ones consuming thousands of acres. The orange triangles are considered the medium sized ones burning hundreds of acres. And the black triangles are the smallest of one's burning just a few acres. The smoke that is coming into the northern U.S. is mostly by the cluster of large fires in northern Manitoba.

This chart from the National Weather Service shows general areas that dealing with widespread smoke particles. Notice that the Upper Midwest is blanketed by pockets of smoke and haze with the northerly flow we have seen out of Canada for the last day or so. The good news for us is that southerly and westerly flow will push most of the smoke out of the region by Friday. But the haze will likely stick around because once the smoke clears, moisture levels will be increasing which also creates a hazy sky. At least it's healthy to breathe in.

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