Smoke from Canada fires blows into Phoenix area

Posted: Updated:

PHOENIX -- Some Valley residents smelled smoke and noticed a brown haze in the air Thursday morning and it has been determined to be coming from fires burning in western Canada.

Phoenix fire officials initially thought the haze was from a brush fire near Yuma, but the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality confirmed that most of the smoke came all the way from Canada.

Wildfires north of Edmonton, Alberta, have put up a lot of smoke in recent days and the unusual storm system that has impacted Arizona the last couple of days drew the smoke right to us.

Wednesday’s large trough of low pressure captured that smoke and drew it south along the West Coast of the United States. That smoke turned east, following the southern edge of the trough, and reached the Valley Thursday morning.

Reduction in visibility is always enhanced with the presence of moisture. Atmospheric moisture wraps around any available particle in the air, enhancing the appearance of that particle. This makes it look worse than it actually is.