Smoke from Alberta fires affects the U.S., May 7, 2016

Wildfire smoke map May 7, 2016
Map of wildfire smoke. WeatherUnderground at 9:20 a.m. May 7, 2016

The fires in Canada, primarily the 387,000-acre blaze at Fort McMurray, Alberta, continue to send smoke into Saskatchewan, Manitoba, the central United States, and many areas in the eastern U.S.

Wildfire smoke map May 7, 2016
Map of wildfire smoke. NOAA, 8:43 a.m. May 7, 2016

In the animation below, the fire is near the center of the image. From the left you can see clouds coming in from the northwest.

There is a report of smoke in Iowa:

To see the most current smoke reports, visit the articles tagged “smoke” at

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

59 thoughts on “Smoke from Alberta fires affects the U.S., May 7, 2016”

  1. May 7, 2016. Scottsbluff, NE and the Panhandle cities are getting the smoke from Canada also. Can’t smell it but our sky look like the picture above in Iowa.

  2. Smoke is seen around Lindsay and Lincoln NE. You can smell it too. Some areas have thicker smoke than others.

  3. 2:00 PM flying in to Minneapolis you could see the smoke. A local said that it was thick this morning and smelled very smokey.

  4. Forest fire near Hoyt Lakes, MN. Burned 1,000 acres. That and coupled with the smoke from Canadian Wildfires. Was really terrible yesterday.

  5. Thick smoke in Lincoln NE has cancelled the blue angles flight demonstration team on Saturday.. Hopefully it will clear up Sunday so everyone can watch the angles fly. Oh the smoke smells like plastic so be careful outside if you have any reactions to that smell. Time:754pm

    1. Mike, I highly doubt that the smoke would reach Connecticut unless the wildfires were as close as Pittsburgh.

    2. Actually, yesterday on the highway it seemed a little smokey in Bridgeport.

  6. My question is this. Why is the United States not offering any of our millitary or any of our fire men to try and stop all the devistation. Is this how truly shallow we have become.

    1. To Lynnette Bourbonnais :I give you a lot of credit for that reply. Apparently, The U.S.A is not holding the Ace. A bunch of folks don’t realize how Dire the situation is until the wildfires are in their Hometown.

    2. I’m in the Marine corps but I work full time a firefighter an I asked the same ?’s u have . The problem is unless our troops are ordered there it’s a act of war.. Canada believes always they will take care of each other because if they ask help from our government it would be a embarrassing moment. To this day I ask my self what u asked an of course I get nothing. But as of Monday morning I’m going to ask to leave an help BC we can’t stand here an make believe that this stuff is going on. We all have a duty to help our counterman help specially Canada…

      Take care sorry for being long winded.


      1. Thank you for coming up to help.
        God bless our kind neighbors (how few they may be). We appreciate your offering of assistance as a friendly neighbour helping another neighbour out.

      2. Can they seed the clouds with dry ice and make it rain? Or, what ever it is they do to make it rain?

      3. I find your opinion of Canada insulting, that Canada thinks it’s embarrassing to ask for help.

        When Katrina happened, Canada was one of the first countries to OFFER their help. Within a couple of days the Canadian navy had 2 ships full of supplies and personnel waiting for permission to enter US waters and those ships had to wait for many days to get that permission so that it would not be considered an act of war – waiting while those affected suffered.

        When the northern states were affected by a devastating ice storm and had no power in the middle of a brutally cold winter, Canada again OFFERED their help and got the power grid repaired and running.

        There are many other examples where Canada OFFERED and provided their help to us in the USA, including fighting massive forest fires.

        Frankly, as an American, I’m embarrassed that there hasn’t been any OFFER of help (at least that anyone has heard of).

        Did America have to ASK in any of the cases I mentioned?

        1. I agree with everything u have said. My first question after seeing how devastating these fires r, is where is the u.s. gov? We should have already been helping Canada. Why is it an act of war. In most of our minds it’s just neighborly love for a country that has surely helped us when our country has been n need.

          1. I’m from Montana and I am wildlamd Fire Fighter. Everyone is asking why hasn’t the U.S. Helping Canada with the fire? Well the reason being is Canada excepting firefighters across the United States to help them. My engine boss has been called six times from Canada asking if we are prepared and that we are a green light to help when they decide to call for help.

          1. I have heard that it would be dangerous to have more aircraft fighting the fire because of the intense smoke. Thanks for your concern ,it’s appreciated. ?

      4. I live in Edmonton and work in the oil sands region. Our premiere says that they supposedly have the maximum amount of air bombers flying that safety permits.

    3. Canada has to request help before we can give it… And that will happen if they run out of resources. Being so early in the season and not much fire activity up there right now they may not ask for help at all.

      1. You’re right. Canada has not requested any firefighting resources from the U.S. A couple of days ago Chad Morrison, Alberta’s Wildfire Manager, said they had plenty of resources.

    4. i cant understand that either. It seems we would be the first to ask to help.

    5. There are people here in the United States just waiting for the request to be sent. They would be air born within hours a few hours!

    6. First, it is devastation. Second, no one is shallow. I am sure we will help if called upon.

    7. I was wondering the same thing. We had some fires here in NE Idaho and NW Montana last summer and were Blessed to have some firefighters come and assist from Ontario Canada. Would like to see our crews return the gesture and help Fort McMurray area in Alberta. Prayers for safety for all the firefighters and people in harms way.

    8. Hopefully we have offered. If not, I will be quite embarrassed for our country’s stance.

    9. The US and 4 other countries did offer to help, and Canada’s prime minister declined, stating the other Canadian providences were sending aid. As it should be.

  7. With 500+ firefighters from Canada there is not really anything more can do. The fire is too strong to be stopped now in very remote areas. Ft McMurry area wiped out but now moving N towards oil sands which have protection and nothing but forest till it gets to the Artic. Firefighters can’t go where there are no roads and air drops are too small to be effective. The fire may continue for weeks until put out by rains.

    The damage has already been done with like 90,000 evacuees many trying to be housed, fed, clothed, etc. in Edmonton. A huge disaster but not much more U.S. help could do. Canadians are doing an outstanding job of coming together.

  8. Praying that all affected by the fires are and remain safe. Nonetheless, wondering if the border is still secure and that the fire isn’t a distraction to loosen security on the border.

  9. Has this disastrous fire had any affect on neighboring Alaska? I see the incredible dangerous smoke is in many parts of the USA, but I’m concerned about Alaska.

    1. Alaska is to the northwest of Alberta, the wind is blowing the smoke to the northeast and then down south… I live in Calgary, and believe it or not, the smoke hasn’t really affected us. The smoke has been blown around us. I see blue sky and don’t smell any smoke

  10. Feel like the smoke has reached the Highlands of Scotland.. We do have wildfires here.. And people do burn Heather, but can’t see fires around and it smells really faint. There’s an usual mist over the sea, but it’s not like Haar, sea mist.

  11. The 200,000 hectare wild fire is growing daily and now heading south east away from communities but could change any moment with wind direction. It’s an out of control beast that’s burning through the tinder dry Boreal forest in Canada and the only thing that will stop it is a good multi day dump of rain.

  12. I sympathize with Canada but from a state of North Dakota that has a 2 month summer of lucky we are screwed over by atmosphere and ground smoke from Canada. This will be second year there lack of ability to stop or control there fires has effected us. I am extremely pissed there negligence has once again taken our little bit of enjoyment we get from a long anticipated summer. They complain about our Devils lake water project to relieve flooding farm land situation but polute our air. Is my understanding they let fires burn themselves out without attempting to extinguish if population not threatened

    1. I am working North of Fort Mcmurray and am waiting to get evacuated. Just wanted to thank our American brothers and sisters for their kind words and support. It means a lot to know you guys have our backs. Thank you


    2. First off, they did try as much as they could to put out the fire in Fort McMurray, obviously when people are being evacuated and 20% of the city is burnt down, they would do everything they could to put out the fire, so your selfish reasons for not wanting smoke in your air is so inconsiderate to all those who lost their homes, nobody wants fires, the smoke is an unfortunate side effect but definitely would be prevented if possible. Also, the Devils Lake issue is between the Canadian province of Manitoba and North Dakota, that had nothing to do with the province of Alberta, so not sure why something you would mention something irrelevant like that. Also, you need to go back to elementary school, you kept using “there” when it should be “their”.

      1. I’m not convinced that the air quality is”All due to the fires burning in Alberta”. I’ve lived in Southeastern Wisconsin for 30+ years and have not ever seen the yellow/gray/ purple-ish skies I’ve seen since last fall 2015. I haven’t seen the sky, moon, or stars since last summer. All we can do as people is help one another be strong without tearing one another down. Education is key, kindness goes both ways.

  13. Praying for you guys in alberta, the videos are haunting and terrifying. You’d think living in California, the wildfire capital of the world I wouldn’t be affected, but it’s the stuff my nightmares are made of. Just bought a new backup generator, because, among other reasons, long before the fire reaches my doorstep I will lose power, and the ability to pump. You think about things like that. For the moment we in California have been getting wet. A gift that will hold off the inevitable for a little while longer.
    I know from having been burned out of my home that none of these people will ever be the same again.
    My prayers… prayers. 🙁

  14. Scary and haunting. Prayers???. God is with you at all times. Pleased be safe. I am only 10 years old. I take this seriously. It gives me the chills?.

    Molly Adams

  15. Very hazy here in northern Mississippi. Not the clear day as expected. . then I read this…by the map, we rein the line of possible smoke. Hoping everyone who is near this fire will be safe and with family and friends. Praying for rains

    1. Because right now there is no need. Fact is there are still plenty of resources available through CIFFC (Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre). We use what we have before we ask for more.
      You can only have so many tankers/heli’s in a air space at one time. We sincerely appreciate the offers of help… trust me it means a lot to have the offers… but more resources ins’t always better. More resources=more logistics, planning, operations, etc which can actually slow down the ability of an agency to respond.

      1. Right on Karen, sometimes the ‘help’ becomes the ‘work’. We sure do appreciate the offers and will be happy to recipricate once things calm down up here.

  16. 5/20/16 misc. overhead and several crew orders at NIFC for Canada Fire Support

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