Smoke from the Western and Canadians wildfires appearing in South Dakota

WATERTOWN & PIERRE, S.D.(KXLG & DRGNews) — Wildfires burning across the Western United States and Canada are being called unprecedented.  At least 67 different fires are burning in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Canada. The resulting smoke is finding its way into other parts of the nation, including here in South Dakota, where Watertown Fire Rescue Chief Don Rowland says they have been fielding calls.

Rowland says that experiencing hazy skies from the wildfire smoke is one thing, but actually smelling it from this distance is a reality check for those not living in the forest regions of the west and north.

Rowland says they have been fielding numerous calls Thursday from the public inquiring where the local fire might be.  He said the response is Montana and Canada.

He said big rains are needed to aid firefighters.

Pierre Volunteer Fire Department chief Ian Paul says what we’re seeing and smelling is from some of the huge wildfires burning in other parts of the US and Canada.

Paul says it’s not unusual for the smoke to travel this far, but it is unusual that the haze is so thick.