Wildfire smoke from western Canada could bring hazy skies to southern Ontario


Published May 10, 2023 at 11:10 am

Smoke from dozens of wildfires burning in western Canada has spread across the country and is bringing hazy skies and some brilliant sunrises and sunsets to parts of eastern Canada, including Mississauga and the rest of the GTA.

With some 57 active wildfires in British Columbia and 88 in Alberta, the heavy smoke plumes continue to grow in size and have been on the move to various parts of Canada and the U.S.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has not issued an air quality alert regarding smoke in Ontario, but does warn that smoke levels could fluctuate in the coming days.

Southern Ontarians and those in Quebec could see visible effects in the coming days including hazy skies on otherwise clear days, weather wise, and the chance to see some especially vibrant sunrises and sunsets, according to The Weather Network.

The fires have created intense smoke and poor air quality throughout the Canadian west and territories to the north.

Weather officials say the poorest air quality will remain closer to the fire zones, but air quality could be impacted minimally in southern Ontario, Quebec and other parts of eastern Canada.

Satellite imagery in parts of Ontario and western Quebec have already shown signs of the smoke.

Relatively clear skies for most of this week are forecast for southern Ontario and Quebec, weather officials say. So, any haze in the sky can be attributed to the wildfires.

Because red light passes through smoke particles more easily than blue light, a brighter and more red appearance may be the result for sunrises and sunsets for a few days.

The wildfires have been raging for a week or so now and produced huge chimneys of smoke that have reached into the upper troposphere, which is between eight and 14 kilometres thick, according to NASA.

Satellite image shows the smoke above western Canada that has moved across the country. (Image: NASA Earth Observatory)

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