The number and severity of Canadian wildfires have increased over the past decade and currently pose a significant threat to its surrounding states. Besides climate change, several natural and man-made causes can also spark an uncontrollable wildfire. Couple it with the dry vegetation, and you have the perfect kindling.
However, the latest wildfire has caused record-breaking damage. Thousands of people had to evacuate their houses, and the fire has burnt 1,800 square miles. The oil industry was severely affected as flames approached pipelines, forcing drillers to halt production as a precautionary measure.
Due to the vast amounts of smoke produced, the air quality has turned poor and hazy skies have been discovered in Southern Canada, Nebraska, North Dakota, and several other states.
Nebraska has also been severely affected as Air Quality Alerts covered the entire state. The state has been experiencing smoke in the atmosphere since Thursday. It had led to hazy skies and many people asking where the sudden smoky condition had originated.
The air quality alert was issued in Nebraska due to the smoke migrating from Canadian wildfires. Residents have been warned that air quality will range from ‘moderate’ to ‘very unhealthy,’ and people are advised to stay inside their homes as much as possible. People involved in outdoor activities are likely to be impacted the most due to pollution and emitted gases.
The smoke has caused reduced visibility, resulting in higher chances of accidents and emergencies. So if you live in an area affected by the wildfire smoke, it is best for you to stay home.
Just to bring things to perspective, a ‘moderate’ air quality index means acceptable but with pollutants that could result in health concerns for those sensitive to air pollution. Whereas a ‘very unhealthy’ status means a health alert, as everyone will experience serious health effects.
Several forecasts indicate that Northerly winds will continue to push the smoke through the region. Until and unless a change in the direction of mid and upper winds is observed, the smoky condition will see no improvements.
The latest update shows the smoke leaving Western and Eastern Nebraska; however, hazy skies would remain despite the good news. The smoke is expected to linger till Saturday and might improve later as the day passes.
It is not a permanent situation as the smoke will clear in another day, and everyone can return to their normal daily lives. However, the Canadian wildfires are more damaging than the mere smoky side effects in Nebraska and other neighboring states.
Are you a resident of Nebraska or a victim of the unprecedented fire or smoke? Tell us what you have experienced and your current weather in the comments below.