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Canada's wildfires sending smoky air and haze to Miami and South Florida. When will it clear?

Canada's wildfires sending smoky air and haze to Miami and South Florida. When will it clear?
Canada's wildfires sending smoky air and haze to Miami and South Florida. When will it clear? 02:09

MIAMI -- The thick haze that blanketed South Florida Tuesday is the result of wildfires burning in Canada thousands of miles away.

CBS News Miami meteorologist KC Sherman said many parts of South Florida, including Broward, have air quality that is considered unhealthy. 

A hazy Miami skyline. CBS News Miami

"We're trading the rain for the haze," she said at noon . "I'm sure you've noticed the haze out there."

The haze could pose problems for those who already suffer from respiratory issues.

According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Center, more than 300 wildfires were burning out of control across the country, and over 18.4 million hectares have been consumed by fire this year.

The smoky conditions were drifting to Florida, reaching as far south as Miami.

The skies over Central Florida had an orange tint on Monday before the sun went down, according to local reports. Smoke was also visible from the Florida Panhandle to Jacksonville.

Air quality
The current air quality status over Florida as of Tuesday in Florida. CBS News Miami

CBS News Miami meteorologist Cindy Preszler said a high-pressure system sitting over the Tennessee valley is acting as a funnel to pull the hazy air to Miami.

Sherman said relief is on the way, however.

"We will clear out late tonight and by sure tomorrow," she said.

The weather forecast for South Florida calls for sunshine Tuesday and much drier air.

The haze sparked confusion and angst from many in South Florida.

"I can barely see anything down there," said Ava Smith while looking down the Hollywood Broadwalk. She like many are wondering what's causing it.

"We really were surprised from the Canadian fires because it looked like it went off shore for a couple days until we started seeing them down here," said Monica Pognon, director of Broward's Department of Natural Resources who deals with air quality issues. "Currently, Broward County, our air quality is unhealthy. And so we're recommending people limit their outdoor activity, that they keep an eye on the air quality index."

According to, unhealthy readings were reported Tuesday from Broward through Central Florida, while much of Miami-Dade was in the moderate category.

"If people are avid runners and they go outside to jog or if there are kids who have outdoor activities like soccer practice and other activities, they should probably avoid that today until the air quality improves," said Dr. Sarah LaRosa, medical director of the ER at HCA Florida University Hospital, adding that when air quality reaches unhealthy levels everyone should take precautions, especially those with pre-existing medical conditions. "If they have any history of lung problems, like asthma or COPD or any other chronic lung conditions they should really stay indoors right now. If they do have to go outdoors, they should consider wearing an N-95 mask."

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