Storm Team4

DC's Hazy, Vibrant Sunsets and Sunrises Caused by Canadian Wildfire Smoke

Storm Team4 meteorologists share why Wednesday and Thursday had smoky golden hours

Storm Team4

D.C. woke up Thursday morning to a hazy sunrise caused by wildfires burning in Canada.

The haze is smoke from over 100 active wildfires burning in Alberta, Canada, in the last week. The fires have caused more than 24,000 people to be evacuated from the area, NBC News reported Saturday.

The Canadian wildfire smoke blew into the D.C. area on a northwest flow while suspended in the mid-levels of the atmosphere, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

More than 1,500 square miles of Alberta territory were on fire Wednesday, according to data from Esri Canada and Environment Canada, said Storm Team4 Meteorologist Ryan Miller.

"That amount of current fire activity is equivalent to 22 Washington, D.C.'s or 62% of the entire state of Delaware,” Miller tweeted.

The haze's impact on air quality has not been reported. The D.C. area had a moderate air quality forecast on Thursday, meaning the air poses a moderate health risk for those who are unusually sensitive to pollution, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments.

Storm Team4 Meteorologist Chuck Bell shared that Thursday's 6 a.m. sunrise was "very red" over D.C.

Later in the morning, Storm Team4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer shared a photo of a white sky around the Washington Monument.

A hazy glow was visible in the sunset Wednesday across the region, the NWS said.

The smoke could last as long as Friday but was expected to dissipate Thursday as winds blow south and southwest, according to NWS.

In March, a wildfire from North Carolina brought the smell of smoke to the D.C. area.

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