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Minnesota forest fire blankets Windy City in smoke

Bryan Alaspa's picture

Back on August 18 a lightning strike in Minnesota set a huge forest first that has consumed thousands of acres of forest land and now the winds have brought the smoke from that fire to Chicago.

hicagoans were enjoying an early Fall day with clear blue skies and pleasant breezes out of the north when the wind suddenly brought a surprise. Suddenly, the skies around the Windy City turned the kind if hazy yellow normally associated with the poor air quality days seen during the height of summer. It turns out that a blazing forest fire hundreds of miles away was the culprit.

According to Chicago media reports, the haze and smoke is so thick that is nearly like a fog covering the entire Chicago area and up into Wisconsin. By tonight the smoke will be in northwestern Indiana. The smoke is expected to stay around the city, potentially causing health problems for those with medical conditions such as asthma, until Wednesday or Thursday.

The Chicago area is not only experiencing a thick blanket of smoke causing limited vision in some areas, but the entire area also smells thickly of smoke. Some residents have complained that the smell is like that of burning wires or an electrical fire. That too is also from the fire burning in Minnesota.

The fire started in the forests of Minnesota back in August. The fire was sparked by a lightning strike from a late summer thunderstorm. Since then the fire has been burning steadily, consuming over 60,000 acres of forest land. The forest fire is located in the Boundary Waters Canoe area, not far from the border with Wisconsin.

The smoke is easily visible from space. The smoke is pushed southward into the Chicago area thanks to the jet stream. It will continue to blanket the area into Wednesday, if not Thursday. There is rain potential for the Chicago area on Wednesday, which could help remove some of the smoke.

Those who have breathing problems such as asthma are being encouraged to stay at home and indoors for the next couple of days.

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