Minimize Record-breaking smoke over Canada

For more than a month, dozens of large fires have raged in British Columbia. Since early July 2017, wildfire has burned through coniferous forests stressed by heat, drought, and infestations of mountain pine beetles. In early August, another cluster of intense fires flared up in Northwest Territories when a cold front pushed through the region with powerful winds.

The intense fires and persistent southerly winds have wafted extraordinary amounts of smoke north over Canada's Northwest Territories and Yukon and Nunavut provinces. When the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on Suomi NPP acquired the data for the image above on August 15, 2017, a heavy pall of smoke drifted over northern Canada. The image is a mosaic composed from several satellite overpasses because the affected area is so large.

A more detailed view of the fires near Lake Athabasca (below), captured by the Aqua satellite on August 14, 2017, shows smoke streaming north. That smoke joined with another smoke band from fires in British Columbia. The fires in BC were so intense that they produced several pryocumulus clouds, lofting smoke up to 13 kilometers (8 miles) into the atmosphere.

View the full resolution image.

Credit: NASA

Record-breaking smoke over Canada

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