Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Smoke from Minnesota wildfire moving across Wisconsin


We woke up at just before 2 am this morning to a strong smell of smoke. It was cool out with an unusually gusty wind for that time of the night. The smell was strong in the house and I could see well enough in the dark that there appeared to be smoke in the air.

With flash light in hand I went out and inspected our houses and out buildings. I drove up to the cabin and could see that the air was hazy with smoke. The smell permeated my nostrils. Upon seeing that our buildings were not the source of the smoke I was relieved but, it certainly appeared that a rather large fire was some place not too far away.

I went inside and called 911. Upon talking to the dispatcher she informed me that the likely source of the smoke was from a large fire way up in north MN. She told me that they had reports from all over of people witnessing the same thing. She also said that they could smell it in Rhinelander also, 15 or so miles to our south. She asked me if I could see the sky glowing at all and I said no. She said that it was most likely those fires in MN. However she said that they had people driving around to make sure it wasn't something more local.

After getting off the phone I still wasn't completely convinced the smoke was coming from MN. I wondered how in the world such strong smell and even the sight of the smoke could travel so far. Must be a couple hundred miles away I thought. I called my mom and dad just to let them know what was going on then I drove around to try and satisfy my curiosity. I drove about 6 miles to the north west and I could smell it as strong out there as I could at home.

Then when I was back home I looked up our local TV station online and found their facebook page. On it I saw reports from all around the northwoods of people being woken out of a sound sleep, just as we had been, by a strong smell of smoke. And the report was that yes indeed it was from the fires in Minnesota. So I was finally satisfied and went back to bed around 4 am.

When daylight came the smell of smoke was still lightly in the air and even now at 5:30 pm you can smell it, though at this point we can't see it any longer. Neighbor Mike said he had the same reaction to it. Was woke up by the smell then went around checking to see if any of there buildings were on fire. And judging by the facebook comments others had the same reaction.

In the picture above you can see the smoke making it's way across Lake Superior and into Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Only last night it went a couple counties further south into Oneida County, WI were we live. It went at least that far south that we know of.

I can't imagine how pungent the smoke must be closer to the source. I would think some people would have health concerns with it, people who suffer from asthma and people who have breathing issues.

I'm still amazed how all that smoke could make it's way all the way over here. In my thinking it would travel way up in the sky by now. The conditions must be just right.


Blogger Tom Scepaniak said...

That photo is pretty neat! Starting to get dry around here too and I figure in a few more days we'll be smelling local smoke, especially if it freezes hard tomorrow and dries things down.

8:22 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Hi Tom,
Yeah, it's been dry here too. Everyone I've talked to all thought there was a fire nearby. The lady who owns the local gas station thought her woods were on fire. I'm glad I wasn't the only one who was alarmed about it. The smoke covered a whole lot of territory.

Cooling down here quite a bit. Someone said they're calling for possible snow flurries tonight.

Take care and God Bless,

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had smoke from these fires in Chicago, you could smell the smoke and the sky was smokie

5:55 AM  

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