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Smoky skies over parts of Ontario likely wildfire related: Environment Canada

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If you spotted smoky skies in parts of Ontario Thursday, it is quite likely you saw the aftereffects of the wildfires scorching Texas.

“I cannot confirm with 100 per cent certainty that the smoke originated from Texas, but the probability is quite high,” Environment Canada’s Peter Kimbell told CTV News Toronto in an emailed statement, speaking on what the agency viewed on its satellite imagery in southwestern Ontario.

The wildfire blazing through the Texas Panhandle – the northernmost region of the U.S. state – has grown into the largest in state history, covering 4,400 square kilometres. The smoke resulted from a cluster of major fires throughout rural northern areas of the state, which also crossed into Oklahoma. According to authorities, however, the fire blackened just under 4,250 square kilometres on the Texas side of the border.

The 2006 East Amarillo Complex fire, which burned through 3,630 square kilometres and resulted in 13 deaths, previously held that title.

Based on ECCC’s national wildfire smoke modelling, plumes of smoke can be seen blowing through Midwest U.S., breezing over Kansas through to Illinois, before billowing over southeastern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.

“But there is undoubtedly some low level particulate matter (PM 2.5) that has been advected in previous days over southern Ontario, which is not reflected in these charts, probably because it is at concentrations which are too small,” Kimbell said.

This particulate matter is of no concern to Ontario’s air quality, Kimbell noted, as its concentrations are “very low” and pose no threat.

With files from The Associated Press  

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