First Alert Weather In-Depth: Canada continues to burn

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — We know how devastating wildfires can be on a given community. Last year it was California and this year it is Canada that is burning.

Locally, we have seen an indirect impact from these fires and that has been through reduced visibility and poor air quality. The Rochester Airport has been running anywhere from four to six miles visibility (typically visibility it is 10 miles). That is certainly much better than a couple of weeks ago, but the smoke has been an ongoing issue for us.

We can also use satellite images to verify the smoky problem and that gives the News10NBC First Alert meteorologists an idea of where the smoke has been and where it is going. Using this satellite as a visibility tool, it does appear that portions of western Ontario Province in Canada is starting to clear. We will see how this could improve our conditions here in Western New York. 

If we measure the Canadian wildfires by the numbers Wednesday, this is how the coverage is broken-down. The number of actual fires now stands at 2.986. Year-to-date this translates to a landmass of eight million hector acres (about 2,000,000 acres). Wednesday, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center reports two new fires and active wildfires now total 480. Amazingly, the number fires that are completely out of control now totals 229.

It is big issue and we are going need some cooperation from mother nature to get the problem under control. And if we get that cooperation, it will come in the form of a change in the wind direction and obviously a little bit of precipitation.