Resilience Natural Disasters

As California wildfires rage on, Kansas sees smoke billowing into state

california wildfire state 27 fires lnc lightning complex air quality bay area sacramento san francisco firefighters five dead evaciuations kansas oregon colorado idaho states smoke haze smog cover gray atmosphere spread
Flames and smoke overtake a tree as the LNU Lightning Complex fire continues to spread in Fairfield, California on August 19, 2020. JOSH EDELSON/AFP via Getty Images

Story at a glance

  • Smoke from the Northern California wildfires is visible in parts of Kansas.
  • Colorado has also had some fires, but most of the haze is attributed to California.

Smoke from wildfires scorching Northern California and choking the atmosphere has been drifting into neighboring states like Oregon and Idaho for the past week. Now, plumes of smoke are reaching as far as Kansas, with residents experiencing hazy skies in parts of the state.

 

 

SFGate reports that smoke clouding parts of northwestern Kansas are expected to linger into most of next week before a high-pressure system heads toward the Mississippi Valley. 

“That’s a lot of smoke to be traveling that far east,” Matt Gerard, the lead forecaster of the National Weather Service in Dodge City said to reporters. “We’ve had some pretty bright red sunrises and sunsets, and the smoke up in the atmosphere coming overhead really gives the sky a grayish look.”


CALIFORNIA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY AMID WILDFIRES

BAY AREA AIR QUALITY TANKS AMID CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES

‘HARD TO PREDICT’ WILDFIRES SCORCH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, PARTS OF NORTH


While most of the smoke is attributed to the California fires, several wildfires from Colorado are also to blame for the smoky air permeating throughout the Midwest. 

One of the largest fires in Colorado, the Pine Gulch Fire has torn through almost 130,000 acres in Mesa and Harfield counties since late July. Similarly to some of the largest and most devastating fires in Northern California, the Pine Gulch Fire was also sparked by a lightning strike.

A lingering haze due to nearby wildfires aren’t uncommon in the Midwest, Gerard reportedly explained, and said that the smoke may be staying longer thanks to a dry winter and spring.

Temperatures are also hot, riding into the upper 90s statewide.


NORTHERN CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES KILL 5 PEOPLE, FORCE MORE THAN 60,000 TO EVACUATE

LIGHTNING WILDFIRES SCORCH CALIFORNIA, EXPLODE IN SIZE