A haze is blanketing much of the Midwest as strong winds carry smoke from forest fires in Canada thousands of miles to the south. National Weather Service forecasters say Tuesday that smoke from wildfires in northern Saskatchewan is blowing as far south as Tennessee. A thick band of smoke extends through much of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri.
This year’s early warm weather is creating perfect conditions for wildfires, according to the Department of Natural Resources. The DNR predicts Minnesota will see more fires than average during the spring season.
Fire crews are searching for hotspots by air using heat-sensing equipment above a northwestern Minnesota wildfire. A helicopter is flying low and slow over the Green Valley fire Friday. Crews are using the hand-held sensor to find smoldering fires.
Authorities say it could be weeks before a wildfire in northernwestern Minnesota is contained. The fire near Red Lake is the largest of several burning in the area and has consumed more than 38 square miles.
Former WCCO over-night host Al Malmberg reported on the terrible fires near his home in Fort Collins, Colorado.
Firefighters are still working to extinguish hot spots in that wildfire in northeastern Minnesota, but have allowed residents back into their homes.
Firefighters were mopping up Wednesday at the scene of a forest fire near Ely in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area but officials warned that conditions in the area are expected to remain dry due to a drought so paddlers need to be careful with their campfires.
The view from a plane above Burnett County, Wis. shows vast, green forests. But splitting many of those forests in half are paths of downed trees. They are victims of a July 1 windstorm and a potential threat for fire.