An unprecedented heatwave in the Pacific Northwest has contributed to massive fires across the region, with at least 67 reported to be raging across the country.
The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that smoke is clouding the skies of those in areas affected by the fires and “compromising air quality”.
The newspaper noted that the blazes produce carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and particulate matter that could be set to bring negative health effects.
Dramatic satellite footage recorded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has shown the extent of the smoke spreading from an aerial view.
“An expansive layer of varying density smoke blankets much of northern North America from Alaska to Greenland and Newfoundland,” the agency said in a release.
They added: “Wildfire activity across British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest continues to produce thick smoke, which is moving across western Canada into northern Canada.”
NOAA said that Oregon’s Bootleg fire showed “explosive growth” on Wednesday the agency said on Twitter, noting the fire “is the largest active fire burning in the US”.
Smoke in the state prompted the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to issue an air quality advisory on Monday for Jackson Klamath, Lake, Union and Wallowa counties.
The agency warned that “smoke can irritate the eyes and lungs and worsen some medical conditions”.
They added that “people most at risk include infants and young children, people with heart or lung disease, older adults and pregnant women”.
AirQuality Alerts are also in effect for locations from California to Minnesota, the NOAA said.
The Post reported that nearly 17 million people continue to experience temperatures topping 100°F (38°C) as a host of heat advisories and excessive heat warnings stay in place.
Experts believe a dome of high pressure over the northwest is the root cause of the extreme heat and that the phenomenon has been worsened by the climate emergency.