Smoke in the valley

The smoke from the British Columbia and Alaska forest fires has been pouring down the Bow River valley over the last few days. It's so thick that it looks like a pervasive fog - except that it doesn't get burned off by noon. We took a drive just down the highway to Cochrane last night, and couldn't even see downtown Calgary from there (usually a nice view of the skyline).

I'm having a hard time imagining the sheer scale of the fires that must be burning to spew this much smoke. A campfire, that I can visualize. Something large enough to fill the huge Bow River valley, I just can't picture it. Here's hoping there's nobody in the way of these fires...

In the satellite image, Calgary is way to the southeast (off the bottom right of the image), but the jetstream is blowing it right over us. And it's not an upper-atmosphere flow like it was last year - it's right down to ground level.

I saw it all from the air on the way back from SFO last week, and it looked like every valley in the Rockies was equally smoke-filled. It just looked like a layer of low clouds, but more diffuse than normal. It stopped just as we entered the foothills on descent into YYC, but it has since pushed into the valley...

UPDATE: I grabbed an image from the Calgary Flying Club's webcam:

Smoke at the Calgary Flying Club Airport

Somewhere in there is a beautiful view of the Rockies...

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Last updated: September 24, 2023