WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The dust and smoke from various wildfires in Kansas was carried north by a wind storm and concentrated over the Midwest on Thursday.
It led to a dramatic drop in air quality in those areas late Wednesday and a recommendation for people to stay indoors. The city of Wichita, Kansas tweeted the following out at 4 p.m. Wednesday.
In Chicago, residents woke up to the smell of smoke Thursday. According to NBC 5 in Chicago, the smoke was carried some 600 miles overnight by strong southwest wind.
The smell of smoke from the fires also spawned a glut of calls to already-taxed emergency dispatchers in the Kansas City metro and other Midwest communities reporting the smell of smoke.
Gusts topping 80 mph were recorded in western Kansas. Dry weather and grass sparked wildfires in western Kansas.
An automated observation site in Lamar, Colorado, recorded a gust of 107 mph Wednesday morning. Wind gusts of 100 mph were reported in Russell, Kansas.