Hazy skies continue as upper level wildfire smoke impacts Iowa

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:28 AM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The nation’s largest wildfire is growing. The Bootleg Fire in Oregon is one of at least 80 large fires burning in 13 states and spans more than 600 miles. Smoke those wildfires are creating hazy skies in some states, including here in Iowa.

Most of the time when we deal with upper-level wildfire smoke, it stays higher up in our atmosphere, but due to light winds, that smoke has been able to mix into lower levels of the atmosphere. This means you may smell a faint bonfire smell across Iowa as we continue to be impacted by this smoke.

Not only that, but smoke can cause a hazy or a milky texture in the sky as you may have noticed over the past couple of days. This is most noticeable at sunrises and sunsets, as the smoke particles amplify the oranges, reds, and pinks in the sky.

If the smoke becomes thick enough, it can cause air quality issues. This can cause health problems for those who are especially sensitive to the smoke, like people who suffer respiratory illnesses, have allergies, or asthma. If you suffer from any of these, it is okay to go outside, but you will want to limit the extended time you spend outside.

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