Smoke from northern forest fires covering southwestern Ontario: Environment Canada
A smoky haze has spread across the GTA, west to Windsor, and north to Wiarton
The haze you're seeing in the sky above southwestern Ontario isn't cloud coverage -- it's actually smoke from northwestern Ontario forest fires, says a meteorologist with Environment Canada.
As of Monday, the Ministry of Forestry and Natural Resources said there were 18 forest fires burning up north.
Peter Kimbell, a meteorologist with Environment Canada, says the smoke from the fires has drifted across most of southwestern Ontario, from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) up to Wiarton, west to Windsor, and south to London.
"It seems to be very patchy," he said. "There's a section for central Ontario, for example cottage country and Barrie ... who don't seem to be suffering from it all."
Kimbell says the smoke isn't thick in every area, and not every weather observation station is reporting it, "but it's there."
A special weather statement is in effect for northwestern Ontario and northeastern Ontario, where the smoke is much denser and has greater impact on people, said Kimbell.
People in southwestern Ontario don't need to worry though.
"I don't think it's really impacting anybody to any extent," he said.
The fires have caused evacuations in two First Nation communities. Pikangikum First Nation is being partially evacuated, and the community has also declared a state of emergency. Keewaywin First Nation was evacuated for precautionary measures because of smoke, with residents being housed in Sioux Lookout and Timmins.