One week ago, I wrote an article about the Chuckegg Creek Fire in Northern Alberta near the town of High Level going out of control. At that time it had already burned 69,000 hectares (170,500 acres).
Now, the fire has grown to 230,000 hectares, or 568,000 acres and nothing seems to be able to stop it yet. Major cities of Edmonton and Calgary are shrouded in thick smoke, while the northern US get red, apocalyptic sunsets.
The Chuckegg Creek Fire in Northern Alberta near the town of High Level was very active over the last 48 hours while being pushed by strong winds.
Exhibiting extreme fire behavior, it grew to the south about 11 miles, and while moving 12 miles to the east it crossed Highway 35 and jumped the Peace River both north and south of the ferry crossing on Highway 697.
Alberta Wildfire estimated it has burned 230,000 hectares, or 568,000 acres.
Those not in immediate danger are still dealing with the impacts of the large fires. Cities of Edmonton and Calgary are ‘smoked’.
Smoke streamed into Edmonton, the province’s capital located roughly 350 miles from the worst of the fires, on Thursday.
The air turned a toxic yellow with residents capturing otherworldly photos of the skyline and likening the scene to the apocalypse. Which yes.
The air is hard to breathe.
The smoke is very thick:
A hell for asthma sufferers:
I drove 5 hrs last night from Lethbridge to Edmonton & 75% of the drive was covered with dark smokey sky.That’s a significant portion of the province covered in thick smoke.This should be alarming to everyone because we can hardly see or breathe due to #climateinaction. #abfires pic.twitter.com/LLzg4YIPF9— Dr. Karli Kay (@karliwithakay) May 31, 2019
Americans got to enjoy a slightly more diluted dose of wildfire smoke.
Blood red sun enthusiasts from Iowa to Vermont were treated to an angry orb in the sky on Thursday during sunset and again on Friday morning for sunrise.
RED SUN: Smoke from wildfires in Canada is giving the sun a red appearance in Cedar Rapids this morning. pic.twitter.com/qrCcsljh8y— Rebecca Kopelman (@KopelmanWX) May 31, 2019
“I believe that the fire started during the week of May 12. It reached the 100,000-acre threshold to become a ‘megafire’ on May 20. Now that it has easily grown to 568,000 acres, I wonder if it will reach a million acres to become a ‘gigafire’,” explains Bill Gabbert.
I don’t recall ever hearing of a gigafire before. Canada, do you really think you are gonna outburn the US? We’ll see what the West Coast has to say aboot that! Lately, a bushfire near Broome, Western Australia, burned 880,000 hectares, or 2,174,527 acres, becoming a gigafire.