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Smoky haze from Canadian fires permeates region

Wildfires burning in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan are contributing to poor air quality in North Dakota.

Hazy smoke entered the region late last week and has been persisting throughout the area over the last few days.

Alex Edwards is a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Bismarck. He says smoky air particles from wildfires in Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan have permeated into this area via the jet stream. He says the haze is thick enough in the eastern portion of North Dakota to reduce visibility to around five miles in the Red River Valley.

Edwards says unfortunately, conditions remain favorable for the fires to keep burning. And he says hot weather will return to North Dakota next week.

"There's a strong chance of a high pressure system developing next week, which promotes dry, hot air and near record-breaking temperatures for the northern plains here. And what that will do is just promote more of those conditions for wildfires as we approach the end of the month here. No real end in sight for the moment."

Edwards says those air particles can travel a very long way – and can even reach down into Kansas.