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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

Alberta wildfires burn 1 million acres, smoke over US
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Alberta wildfires burn 1 million acres, smoke over US

Alberta wildfires: Flares with smoke billowing and clouds nearby.
NASA’s GOES-18 satellite captured this image of fires raging out of control in Alberta, Canada, on May 6, 2023. On the same day, the Canadian government declared a state of emergency for Alberta. Plus thousands of people have faced evacuation while the wildfires have burned approximately 1 million acres. Also, smoke from the Alberta wildfires has swirled all the way into the northeastern United States. Image via the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (CIRA/ CSU & NOAA).

Alberta wildfires and swirling smoke

Wildfire season in Alberta, Canada, typically begins in May. But this year has had an explosive beginning. This forest-covered province has endured a hot, dry spring. And, by last week, wildfires billowing up from the forests led to evacuations of more than 29,000 people, and a state of emergency beginning for Alberta on May 6, 2023. NASA Earth Observatory reported that the fires have been so intense that they’ve produced towering chimneys of smoke in the form of pyrocumulonimbus clouds.

The smoke from all these fires has swirled through the atmosphere and across the northeastern United States, resulting in some colorful sunrises and sunsets.

You can follow along with the progress of the fires and suppression efforts at the Alberta Wildfire Status Dashboard.

Neighboring provinces of British Columbia and Saskatchewan are also experiencing some wildfires.

Map of North America showing curring fires and areas with smoke in shades of gray.
Smoke and fire map on May 9, 2023. Darker shades of gray mean heavier smoke is in the area. (Note blue dot is editor’s location). Image via Airnow.gov.

Wildfire news from Twitter

Fires in Russia

Meanwhile, forests in Russia’s Ural Mountains and Siberia are also on fire. The boreal forest fires in Siberia have currently burned around 130,000 acres. In Omsk, Siberia, residents are under a state of emergency. The Washington Post said that Russian officials indicated that some people have been killed by the fires, but they didn’t specify how many or where.

Bottom line: Fire season is off to an early start in northern forests. In fact, Alberta wildfires have burned about 1 million acres so far as the smoke spreads into the northeastern United States. Plus, wildfires have also sparked in Russia’s Ural Mountains and Siberia.

Via NASA

Read more: Wildfires turn world’s largest forests into carbon emitters

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