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Watch now: Wildfires in the West creating a red sun and hazy skies in Illinois

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The setting red sun is visible in Chicago

The setting red sun is visible in Chicago through smoke from wildfires in the western United States on July 20, 2021.


NOAA released these two satellite images showing the grey smoke (the white is cloud cover) from western fires that are enveloping most of the continental U.S.

People across Illinois are seeing red suns and moons — and hazy skies — caused by wildfires ravaging the western United States.

A red sun went down over Chicago on Tuesday. According to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Leatherwood, this is one of the visible remote effects of the 80 fires happening in 13 states.

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The fires have burned over 1.2 million acres, and according to the National Interagency Fire Center, over 19,000 firefighters and support workers have been deployed to handle the blaze. Places hardest hit include southern and central Idaho and Oregon, Northern California and the northern Rockies, areas where reports have identified “extraordinarily dry fuels.”

The red sun, said Leatherwood, is due to increased particles in the atmosphere from the smoke or haze produced by the fires and brought over by the wind. Red is the only color that gets through these particles, producing a vibrant red sun.

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