Canada to Blame for Filling Valley With Smoke

If you drove to work this morning thinking the Valley looks hazier than usual, you're right -- and Canada's to blame.

Mark Shaffer, spokesman for the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, tells New Times the haze isn't the usual smog that often blocks the mountainous scenery during the morning commute, it's smoke from Canadian wildfires that's been sent to Arizona by the Canadian government as retaliation for Phoenix stealing the Winnipeg Jets hockey team made its way to Arizona.  

Shaffer says a low-pressure system has funneled the smoke from fires burning in Alberta and the eastern part of British Columbia, Canada, over a thousand miles to the Valley. Wow!

Initially, fire officials attributed the extra haze this morning to the Horseshoe Two wildfire burning
in Cochise County near the New mexico border. That fire grew by 2,000 acres yesterday spreading to a total of 33,000 acres.

However, after checking with meteorologist, ADEQ determined the smoke is Canadian.

Despite the hazy appearance of the Canadian smoke, the air quality, Shaffer says, isn't all that bad.

"It may look like one thing, but the reality is something different," he says. "Air-quality readings haven't been too bad."

The air may be fine, but it looks hideous, so thanks for nothin', Canada -- and the answer's still no, you can't have the Phoenix Coyotes back (at least not until next year).

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James King
Contact: James King