Forest Fires and Smoke

Numerical Forecasts Satellite
Surface Observations Forest Fires and Smoke
Weather Forecasts


Summer always brings forest fires to the western mountains of North America, and smoke from these fires (and fires in Russia and Canada) can bring a hazy and even opaque overcast to the sky. In general, forest-fire smoke is almost endemic to the American and Canadian west, though the extent and opacity depends on the location of the fires and the mid- and upper-level wind directions.

Information on fires is readily available from the National Oceanographic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA). The current analysis is shown below.

map of North American smoke and fire distribution
Current Hazard Mapping System (HMS) fire and smoke analysis for North America derived from satellite imagery.  Click on the image for a larger view.  Source: NOAA OSPO.

The NOAA Office of Satellite and Product Operations can provide you with more detailed fire and smoke information.


Updated: July 2017

Climatology and weather for celestial events