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The smoke from a wildfire in Canada has traveled all the way to Spain

Courtesy CF Operations/Handout via Reuters
Smoke from this Canadian wildfire has traveled overseas.
Katherine Ellen Foley
By Katherine Ellen Foley

Health and science reporter

This article is more than 2 years old.

The wildfire that forced more than 88,000 evacuations from Fort McMurray and a few surrounding communities in northern Canada has reached over 2,000 square miles (3,218 square kilometers), and is still not under control.

Smoke from the fire—which has been nicknamed The Beast—billowed more than 4,000 miles to reach Europe earlier this week, according to NASA.

NASA
Smoke from the Fort McMurray fire reached Spain and the UK.

The blue in the image above represents the aerosol index (an indication of dust and soot in the atmosphere). The blue streaks skirting over Spain and the UK on the far right are a result of the Canadian fire. Smoke from the same fire also spread to Florida in the southeast US earlier this month.

Though the fire has since retreated from Europe, Alberta’s fire authorities have recruited fire fighters from the US and South Africa to help try to stop it. Originally, it began in a remote forest and spread furiously as a result of unusually warm weather and low humidity. Fort McMurray residents are expected to be allowed to return to their homes, if possible, in phases on a voluntary basis starting June 1.

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