Smoke From Fires In Minnesota Covers Chicagoland

CHICAGO (CBS) — Smoke–and the smell–from a forest fire in northern Minnesota is covering parts of the northern suburbs in a hazy cloud.

Several fire departments began receiving reports of smoke in the area this morning — and that prompted an investigation into the origin.

Smoke from the Minnesota forest fire got up in northerly winds and is now being dropped in suburban Chicago, including towns in McHenry County as well as Schaumburg and Long Grove. Residents are saying they are having trouble breathing and experiencing watery eyes.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Fans of CBS Chicago on Facebook also reported a burning smell and smoke in Northbrook, Streamwood and Libertyville.

Park Ridge has launched robo-calls about the smoke advising residents with respiratory to stay inside and take precautions.

According to AccuWeather, the combination of cooler, sinking air and the northerly winds moved the smoke into Northern Illinois. The smoke is likely to stay in the area all day and into tomorrow–and it could spread even deeper into Illinois and Northwest Indiana.

Residents can expect hazy skies and a distinct burning odor.

The Pagami Creek fire in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has grown to more than 60,000 acres, prompting mandatory evacuations.

mchenry smoke1 Smoke From Fires In Minnesota Covers Chicagoland

A hazy smoke from fires 600 miles away in Minnesota looms over the trees in McHenry on Tuesday. (Credit: Heather Kromer)

Minnesota Interagency Fire Center spokeswoman Jean Bergerson tells Minnesota Public Radio the fire has spread beyond the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Ara. It is now in an area between Ely and Isabella.

Bergerson said windy conditions Monday helped the fire spread quickly, and wind will be a factor Tuesday and Wednesday.

Bergerson said crews from all over the Upper Midwest were called to help. New firefighting crews from outside the region are being called in but it has been difficult to get the crews they need due to the massive fires in Texas and California.

Bergerson said that the smoke is making it difficult to pinpoint the exact size of the fire.

  • M

    Is the haze and smell in downtown Naperville from the Minnesota fires

  • Dave Roberts

    We live in Algonquin, IL. My daughters just got home to report their knowledge of the reason for the hazy-like skies and smell of smoke outside. I don’t think there will be any outdoor activities tonight.

  • Dave Roberts

    We live in Algonquin, IL and I just learned about the smoke and haze through my daughters who just arrived home from school. It looks like we won’t be doing any outdoor activities tonight.

  • Lloyd Domres

    I live in Wood Dale and it smells bad.

    • pat

      I work in Wood Dale and noticed it around 1. Then we got an automated call at the office from the city informing us of the situation

  • Aaron

    I live in Elgin, IL and I can definitely smell the distinct burn in the air. Not many TV newsources covering this on the air which is frustrating if you don’t know what’s going on. Local fire dept. does not know and thought it had to do with a controlled fire in downtown Elgin. I have a headache and irritated eyes, nothing major just uncomfortable. I’m glad CBS and 780 AM have mentioned why the air quality is poor.

  • DJM

    It’s terrible here in Lake Villa

  • Heidi Campbell

    Oh man…if it is this bad here, I can only imagine how bad it is in Mn. Safety for all…at least my nose is working, but I was getting seriously concerned about what was going on….thanks for the info.


    PS – I am in Northfield…how far does this spread?…report said to Indiana? WOW!!

  • Alex Casado

    I live in Wheaton and it’s all hazy and there is a distinct odor. I was wondering what it was…

  • CFLC

    Smokey the Bear must have been layed off. Only you can prevent forest fires.

  • Aaron K

    Smells bad in Elmhurst. At first I thought there was a house fire in my neighborhood.

  • Greta Shepherd

    We live in Palatine and it is strong. It smells more like chemicals to me.

    • Marina

      We live in Mundelein and I had the same idea that it smells like chemicals.

  • Ralph

    Reporting from the Loop….It smells like burning. – Ralph Wiggum.

  • TCronin

    Nasty smell – like burning plastics… closing up the house on such a beautiful day. What a shame!

  • Virginia Morin

    I live on Chicago’s north side (6000N) and we can smell the fire here too.

  • Jimbo

    I live in Warrenville, and it is getting pretty thick out here.

  • JeanSC

    After I heard this story on TV on the 5 PM news, I had reason to go outside briefly. I can definitely smell the odor – in the West Ridge CA in Chicago. It’s an odd odor. But I wouldn’t have called 911. I’d just have thought, “there’s a fire somewhere” and if there was reason, people much closer would have already called authorities. It’s not the 1st time smoke from distant fires has been blown here.

  • Frank

    Smell it as far south as Melrose Park

  • Scott

    I live in Bessemer Michigan and we had thick smoke and ash falling last night, It hurt my eyes.

  • Dawn Hoffman

    I could smell it more this afternoon….I thought something like plastic was burning….and the haze was strange…not really smokey, but weird, kinda like my contacts were acting goofy! Praying for everyone up there to be safe.

  • M.Sami

    Northside of chicago here, foster beach area,,,smell is bad here and there is haze in the air…if you got asthma, plz stay inside…I had to come back early from walking the dogs the smell is that bad and could hardly breath,,,I have asthma

  • Cindy

    The haze is noticeable here in Naperville.

  • Vicky

    Nothing noticeable in Lake Forest!

  • Bonnie

    I live in Oshawa, Ontario and we could smell the smoke today!

  • Patty B

    The smell is awful, like burning plastic or something of that sort. I smelled it all the way from our home in the Hanover Park/Carol Stream area to my office in Rosemont this morning, and then again on the way home this afternoon. The sky has been very “hazy” all day.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live