The wildfire smoke managed to make its way back to Buffalo, New York once again this week, and it had an effect on the sunset. 

How Long Have The Wildfires Been Burning?

The wildfire smoke has been burning since March 2023, but it started to burn at an uncontrollable rate in June 

How Much Has Burned So Far?

As of July 19, the wildfires in Canada have burned 25 million acres so far this year. For perspective, that is almost the size of the state of Kentucky, according to the New York Times

Who Is Helping To Stop It?

The Canadian government has asked for help, and hundreds of firefighters from several countries, including the United States, France, Australia and more have helped in fighting the fires.

What Happened to the Sunset?

At one point, the wildfire smoke was so bad that ash had been seen falling from the sky, and it’s actually causing a shift in the sun’s appearance.

The smoke ultimately acts like a filter on the shorter wavelengths of light created by the sun, according to WKBN meteorologist Paul Wetzl. This only allows through longer wavelengths, which are red and orange on the color spectrum. The smoke can have a similar effect on the moon, making it look yellow, orange or even red at times. 

That’s why one Western New Yorker was able to capture a unique photo of the sun this week. 


Smoky sunset from the other week (+sunspots)
by u/Analysis_mode27 in Buffalo

The sunspots that appear on the sun’s surface appear as spots that are darker than the surrounding areas, with reduced surface temperature caused by “concentrations of the magnetic flux that inhibit convection,” according to the National Weather Service

It almost looks like a planet, right??? But it’s actually just the sun. 🙂

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