Entire States Of Minnesota And Wisconsin Under Air Quality Alerts From Distant Wildfires

ToplineThe smoke from a Canadian wildfire cluster has blown into Minnesota, causing it to have the worst air quality the state has ever seen. Nearly 90 wildfires are currently burning in the west U.S.A as the North American fire season continues.This year has been historically active for wildfires in North America. gettyThe Key FactsAll of Wisconsin and Minnesota are now under smoke-related air quality alerts, which has resulted in Minnesota having the worst air quality record. On Thursday, Cloud recorded a particulate level of 422 micrograms per square meter of air at a sampling station. Nearly 150 wildfires have been erupted in Manitoba, hundreds of miles north. There are also dozens of wildfires in northern Ontario. This year, the province has seen almost 1000 wildfires, twice what it usually sees over the course a year. The National Interagency Fire Center in the United States reports that there are currently 87 wildfires burning across the country, nearly all of them in the Northwest. These fires have burned over 1.8 million acres. The Bootleg Fire, which has scorched more than 400 structures and scorched over 400,000 acres in southern Oregon, remains the largest U.S. fire. CNN reports that the Dixie Fire in California is the second-largest U.S. forest fire. It has caused nearly 8,000 people to be evacuated and more than 10,000 structures to be threatened in northern California.What to WatchAccording to the National Weather Service office in the region, "Very unhealthy" air quality is expected to continue over Minnesota's Twin Cities for the next few days. A cold front Saturday night into Sunday will push in another round of wildfire smoke. According to the National Weather Service, southerly winds may bring some improvement by Tuesday or Wednesday.Important BackgroundOn Friday, President Joe Biden met with a bipartisan group governors to coordinate efforts to combat ongoing wildfires. They also discussed future preparedness plans. The meeting also addressed climate change, as there is concern that it has contributed to the recent wildfires. The western half of the U.S. was subject to historically hot and dry conditions, with a heat wave in the late June that shook the normally temperate Pacific Northwest. Portland, Oregon reached an all-time high of 116 degrees. Wildfires have been fueled by the dry and hot conditions in the U.S. as well as in adjacent areas of southern Canada.Important QuoteBiden stated Friday that it was impossible to ignore the impact of overlapping and intertwined elements such as prolonged drought, extreme heat and wildfires on the country.Surprising FactCalifornia's fire season has outpaced last year's in July in terms of fires. There were 4,163 fires that burned between January 1 and July 11. The 2020 fire season was the most active in state history. More than 4.2 million acres were estimated to have been burned.TangentThe temperature in Lytton (British Columbia) reached 116 F on June 27, which was a record for Canada as it was affected by the same heat wave that ravaged the west. The mercury reached 121 degrees the following day. Nearly the entire village was destroyed by a wildfire on June 30.Continue readingLytton has died: Accounts of death and destruction in a Canadian village that caught fire under record heat (The Washington Post).Biden: Governors must take urgent action to stop wildfires in the West (CNN).Two of the largest wildfires in America have ravaged land almost as large as New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago (CNN).Record Books in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest Will Be Rewritten by Earth-Shaking Heat Wave (Forbes).