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MN Forest Fire Smoke Could Linger for Days

Smoke likely will persist into the afternoon and evening hours Tuesday.

Smell something burning?

If so, the cause of the smoke and burning smell in northern Illinois is due to a huge forest fire in Minnesota. The smoke is getting into the main airstream and bringing the smoke into our area, according to a National Weather Service Special Weather Statement.

According to NWS, the smoke traveled more than 400 miles due to a combination of sinking air and northerly winds.

NWS warns the smoke will persist through the afternoon and into the evening hours.

Residents of DuPage County are reporting smoke in their neighborhoods.

The Lake County Illinois Emergency Manager reports that smoke is prevalent enough to cause people to experience difficulty breathing and burning eyes. People with respiratory problems should use caution.

The forest fire is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The Journal Sentinel reported that the northwest winds sent ash and smoke into the area reducing visibility in Wisconsin.

The National Weather Service in Wisconsin said some people reported trouble breathing. The weather service predicted air quality in Wisconsin would remain unhealthy in some parts for days.

The fire started Aug. 18 with a lightning strike 20 miles from Ely then smoldered for over a week before flaring to life, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

The fire has spread to cover 60,000 acres in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Called the Pagami Creek Fire, it has spread so rapidly that residents of a small Minnesota town of Isabella were preparing to evacuate on Tuesday.

Additionally, from the website:

Hazy Sky and Strange Smell due to Minnesota Wildfire

Smoke from a large wildfire over northeast Minnesota has been moving into far northern Illinois due to northerly winds behind a cold front, which moved across the area early this morning.  Although the fire is more than 400 miles northeast of the area, the combination of sinking air and northerly winds behind the front has transported smoke all the way into northern Illinois. The smoke will likely persist into the overnight hours, before winds become more westerly in advance of another cold front which will approach early Wednesday morning.  Smoke will likely continue to spread to the southeast across much of northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana through this evening.  Expect hazy skies and a distinct burning odor.

Individuals with respiratory problems should use caution while smoke affects the area.

Chad D. Walz September 13, 2011 at 11:53 PM
I ran out of the house about 4pm and was like what is that burning! I am glad it wasn't a neighbors home!
Elizabeth Major September 14, 2011 at 12:58 AM
I was just saying it was looking hazy outside when the phone rang and it was the village auto call about it....can still smell it a little bit outside....
Ray September 14, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Seems to be dissipating some - Chicago smells like pee again!
Robert Bykowski September 14, 2011 at 05:49 PM
but at least it's OUR pee!

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