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Distant wildfires cause yellowish haze in Northland

A ring-billed gull is silhouetted against a yellow sky and orange sun Monday afternoon in Duluth. Smoke from forest fires in Canada drifted over the region and colored the the sun orange long before sunset Monday. Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com1 / 2
The sun as seen in Duluth, Minnesota on Monday, June 8, 2015. Smoke in the atmosphere from wildfires in central and northern Canada caused the yellowish haze. (Bob King / rking@duluthnews.com)2 / 2

An eerily orange-red sun cast a yellowish hue to haze across the Northland on Monday — the result of wildfires burning hundreds of miles to the northwest.

The National Weather Service in Duluth reported that massive fires burning in central and northern Canada have sent plumes of smoke high into the atmosphere.

"With northwest winds (Monday), the smoke was carried southeastward into the Northland," the Weather Service reported online. "The smoke is far up in the atmosphere and you may not even be able to smell it, but it is causing the yellowish hue to the sky."

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday that the fires and thick smoke have forced some evacuations in northern Saskatchewan. To the north, in the Northwest Territories, 55 fires have burned more than 250,000 acres so far this year; it's three times the usual number of fires for this point in the season, authorities told the CBC.

In the Northland, the haze, combined with temperatures in the 70s to near 80, made for a summer-like day on Monday. Even warmer conditions are expected Tuesday, with highs well into the 80s possible on gusty southwest winds.

A cold front is forecast to sweep across the Northland Tuesday afternoon, bringing a chance for thunderstorms — some possibly severe with heavy rain, large hail and damaging winds. Tornadoes may be possible, too, if severe storms develop. Check duluthnewstribune.com for weather updates today.

Gusty northwest winds in the wake of the front may bring smoke from the Canadian wildfires back into the region on Wednesday, with forecast highs in the 70s.