The Great Smoke Pall of 1950

The Chinchaga fire of 1950 was the largest recorded forest fire in North American history. The fire started in June of that year, and by autumn had burned between 3,500,000 and 4,200,000 acres in the forests of Alberta and British Columbia. It was policy at the time to let wildfires burn as they will in “unsettled areas.” And since no one was fighting the fire, it didn’t make the news much. So it was a surprise when, in late September, the smoke from the Chinchaga fire moved east to blanket the large cities of the eastern US and Canada. On September 24, it was so dark in Ontario the street lights came on during the day. Planes at La Guardia airport in New York City had to land by instruments. The smoke affected Europe, too. Some people thought it was a nuclear attack; others thought it was the end of the world. Read about the Great Smoke Pall of 1950 at Fishwrap. -via Strange Company

Source: neatorama

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