| 15 April 2024, Monday |

Smoke from Canadian wildfires detected thousands of kilometres away in Norway

Millions of individuals across North America have been affected by the noxious smoke originating from Canadian wildfires, leading to health warnings regarding the detrimental air quality. The skies of North America have been engulfed in a haze of orange-tinged smog resulting from these wildfires. The smog has obscured prominent skyscrapers in the area and necessitated the use of face masks by residents. Moreover, cities along the East Coast of the United States have issued alerts regarding the air quality.
The situation due to the wildfires keeps worsening as now a Norwegian Climate and Environmental Research Institute NILU said on Friday (June 9) said that smoke from Canadian wildfires has been detected thousands of kilometres away in the Scandinavian country this week.
Researcher Nikolaos Evangeliou told the news agency AFP that “very weak” concentrations of smoke particles have been detected since Monday, in particular at the Birkenes observatory in southern Norway.
However, the measurements have varied depending on the fires’ intensity, wind direction and precipitation. He added, “We don’t see serious peaks or large increases… so we don’t see any environmental issue (in Norway) nor serious health hazards either.”
Larger and more powerful wildfires than ever have scorched some 3.8 million hectares of Canadian forests and displaced tens of thousands of residents in recent weeks. Reports have mentioned that the scale is unprecedented, with some 2,300 fires registered so far this year.
Southern Norway, like much of northern Europe, has also experienced an unusually dry spring and early summer so far. In southern Norway, no rain has fallen for 16 days and none is forecast in the coming days.
Canadian wildfires
United States President Joe Biden called wildfires a “stark reminder” of climate change after some of the US cities were covered in a noxious haze again. Flights were delayed and several outdoor events were disrupted.
Local residents reported smoke and an acrid campfire smell over the capital Washington. Some parts of the mid-Atlantic region reached “Code Maroon”, the highest category of the Air Quality Index (AQI), which indicated hazardous conditions.
Notably, more than 111 million people in the US were living under air quality alerts due to the fires, the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday.
Biden said in a statement, “Millions of Americans are experiencing the effects of smoke resulting from devastating wildfires burning in Canada, another stark reminder of the impacts of climate change.”
Biden further added that he was sending extra resources to Canada, including “additional firefighters and fire suppression assets such as air tankers,” on top of 600 American personnel sent in May.

  • Wions