Wildfire smoke rolling through New York City unlikely to impact Mississippi

Published 10:03 am Thursday, June 8, 2023

JACKSON — Canada reports they are fighting 414 wildfires with 239 of those raging out of control. This has led to dense smoke settling in on New York City and other metropolitan areas in the Atlantic seaboard.

While smoke forecasts from the NOAA do show a light coverage of wildfire smoke reaching Mississippi, air quality will only drop to a moderate risk. It should be noted that the smoke forecast could be affected by any local growing season prescribed burns. Currently fires are shown in Lafayette, Wilkinson, Attala, Noxubee and Lowndes Counties according to the fire.airnow.gov website.

The National Weather Service in Jackson has not issued any warnings about air quality yet. A forecaster from the Jackson Office said it is unlikely any of the smoke would reach Mississippi or impact the local weather.

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“It would require real strong winds but we don’t expect to see any smoke impacts from the Canadian fires,” the forecaster said. “We sometimes will get smoke from California wildfires if it gets caught up in the jet stream.”

June and July are a traditional burn window for Mississippi’s ecosystem. Long before man used fire as a management tool and built firebreaks such as infrastructure, lightning would have ignited wildfires which shaped the landscape for wildlife.

Fire is still an important tool in managing habitat for wildlife. Currently, the Fire Information for Resource Management System shows two prescribed fires in the DeSoto National Forest. If you are burning make sure you do it safely and legally.

On the radar for this weekend is the chance of severe storms. Isolated severe storms are possible with potentially damaging wind gusts and hail up to a golf ball in size and could hit Franklin and Lincoln County Saturday afternoon into the evening.