Where is That Smoke Over Arizona Coming From?
Mark Twain once said, “Everybody talks about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.”
All joking aside, we don't worry much about the weather in Arizona. Generally speaking, we have two, maybe two-and-a-half seasons here. Cool-weather and heat.
A chilly, but not brutally cold winter is usually followed by a dry, windy spring. Then the freshness of the monsoon season takes over and evens everything out.
While our friends back east have to deal with crazy weather from blizzards and deep freezes to tornados and hurricanes, Arizonans are almost natural disaster-free. That is, until the .5 portion of our weather season hits us. We call that Wildfire Season.
Canadian Wildfires Invade the US
You've probably seen the reporting about the wildfires that hit Canada, blanketing the Northeast and Midwestern United States in a soupy, orange haze.
AP News reported that nearly 400 wildfires were ablaze in Canada in the first week of June 2023. The haze and smoke caused flights to be grounded and Major League baseball games were postponed.
People living in states along the east coast, like New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, and even as far away as North Carolina and Indiana began digging out their old face masks just to step outside.
Could that happen in Arizona? The short answer is: yes. And it's already happening.
When is Wildfire Season in Arizona?
Is it possible to see wildfire conditions in Arizona that match what we've witnessed in Canada? According to the Department of Forestry and Fire Management, there is no longer a wildfire season in Arizona, and they say that, "Fires can happen year-round."
"Every year, 9 out of 10 wildland fires are started by humans....[i]n 2020, more than 80% of Arizona's fires were human caused. In all, 2,520 wildfires burned nearly 980,000 acres of state, federal, and tribal lands in almost every corner of the state."
Will Arizona Look Like New York?
The hazy conditions that hit Arizona recently don't begin to compare to the events surrounding the Canadian Wildfires of 2023.
The 400 or so wildfires combined with winds that swirled around the Great Lakes, and then stalled over the Midwest and Eastern Seaboard. This is essentially what created the Armageddon-like conditions.
The recent news definitely got our attention, and the question on everyone's mind was where is the smoke coming from?
The good news is that the smoke that moved into Arizona last week was mostly from fires outside of Arizona. At the time, most of the haze was blowing over from New Mexico.
It will happen again, though. Sadly, wildfires are just a fact of life now, and scientists predict they may get worse over time.
One of the best ways to stay in the loop for wildfires or any other natural or manmade issues that arise in Arizona is to sign up for AlertSense.
You can set your preferences to be notified of any local situation that could affect you and your family. It's so hyperlocal, you could receive an alert, while your neighbor does not, depending on the circumstances. Get a complete explanation here.
Discover Where the is Smoke Coming From
Here's a great resource to find out where the smoke is coming from. Check out AirNow.gov online. Enter your zip code or let the site detect your location, and you'll get a map with the current wildfires in your area.