How Hazy Have the Canadian Fires Made the Skies Today?

Hazy enough that my camera was able to record sunspots without the benefit of a filter. That’s… pretty hazy, folks.

I hope those in Canada affected by the fires are staying safe, and those in Canada and elsewhere affected by the smoke are doing what they can to avoid the worst effects.

— JS

15 Comments on “How Hazy Have the Canadian Fires Made the Skies Today?”

  1. Here in Ottawa-Gatineau, we’ve done okay enough thanks to the recent rains. Air quality’s expected to take another nose dive for a few more days starting tomorrow.

  2. Here in Eastern Iowa many children’s sports are canceled and Iowa City closed an outdoor swimming pool because the smoke has reached the Very Unhealthy particulate count.

    We’ve cranked our HEPA filter to its highest fan speed.

  3. Here in Toronto, today was definitely an indoor day; I took 2 steps outside, smelled the air & decided to stay inside. The air smells & tastes really acrid.

  4. We Californians learned back in our wildfire season of 2020 that it’s best to keep on hand materials necessarily for quickly cobbling together a Corsi-Rosenthal box to filter indoor air. So, since then, I’ve maintained links to materials and DIY plans to make those, here on my Web site:

    (In particular, since that smoggy August & September, I’ve kept MERV13 filters in storage, as they sell out if you wait until you really need them.)

  5. Chicago has historically been spared bad air, being near the lake, and not being in a bowl like Denver. But it’s been unbelievably bad the last couple days. You can smell the particles, even if that might be partly your imagination. I was shocked that MLB let the Cubs play in these conditions, and I have the most sympathy for folks working outdoors.

  6. Well, there was a filter. It was just external to the camera.

    Okay. On reflection, that’s less clever than I thought it would be because the atmosphere is always filtering out some sunlight and it’s just doing it more. I hope you’ll forgive my ramble in any case.

  7. Here in Grand Rapids, MI we had the worst air in the country a couple of days ago. It was also the worst air in the city since we began keeping records back in the 1980s. However it wasn’t as bad as e.g. New York a couple of weeks back.

    Everything smells like a campfire. But not one of those nice forest-ey campfires. This smells like a drunk frat party campfire where everyone is throwing their empties into the burn pit.

  8. That’s pretty darn hazy. And also quite colorful. It’s been a while since my paper said anything about the fires affecting us, and somehow it slipped my notice that they were still going on, but you’re the second person who’s brought it to my attention this morning.

  9. @M. Hutton: EPA’s AirNow site is both good and bad. Its sensors are very accurate but sparsely sited.

    That is why (in North America) I recommend using PurpleAir’s site in preference. (Remember to disable disply of indoor sensors.) PurpleAir’s cheap sensors are ubiquitous and report frequently (10 min. interval), albeit sometimes a sensor will be so out of step with nearby sensors that it should be assumed malfunctioning and its numbers ignored.

    I have a link to PurpleAir among other useful cites for wildfire season at the same page I mentioned above, at

    Basically, I was caught unprepared during California’s historically awful autumn 2020 wildfire season, and so fixed that omission going forward, amending my “household information” page to prepare for next time.

    Some of the other links are also useful such as the “winds map”, but PurpleAir is in my experience your best first stop.

  10. As a Jersey girl who made her way to the PNW, it’s been interesting to track this story. Here in WA we celebrate the years where this kind of smoke doesn’t happen—it’s the lack of smoke that’s unusual, not the presence of it.

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