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A fiery red sun rose over New York Monday morning — thanks to the hazy smoke of wildfires some 3,000 miles away.
Early birds in the Empire State woke up to the otherworldly sight, which was also seen across large swaths of the northern US and southern Canada, as hundreds of wildfires continued to burn in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan, forecasters said.
More than 2 million acres have been torched by the fires, which have resulted in the evacuations of tens of thousands of people in the region, according to Canadian officials.
Winds blowing east southeast, across the Great Lakes and into New York produced a very smoky haze which made sunspots visible as the sun rose Monday morning, experts explained.
“It’s actually a fair bit of smoke because the winds are essentially funneling the majority of the smoke particles straight towards us,” said Fox News weather producer and forecaster Christopher Tate.
Those who missed the mystical early morning visual can catch it again throughout the week, although in a lesser magnitude due to expected sinking compressed air, Tate said.
“We can reasonably expect that we’ll have at least a couple more nights of this, certainly as long as the fires are burning with such ferocity out there.”
While the situation has prompted severe air quality concerns as far away as Denver — which had the third worst air quality of any large city in the world Saturday, according to Tate — the health impact in the boroughs was more manageable.
“The air quality here in the city is not going to be too much worse than it typically is,” he said.
“Anyone who is especially prone to poor air quality, people with asthma for instance or any other respiratory-related ailments may notice it and may want to take it easy outside.”
Canada is especially susceptible to wildfires between the months of April and September, and the fast-spreading blazes can quickly spread due to dry conditions and drought, according to the Canadian Red Cross.
This year, Alberta has been subject to both record-breaking heat and below-average rainfall, worsening the crisis, which has no sign of slowing, the BBC reported Saturday.
Satellite images Monday showed that smoke from the blazes had drifted all the way to Europe and Africa.