The National Weather Service said the smoke smelled Thursday morning throughout the Chicagoland area is from wildfires 600 miles away in Kansas.
“Any early risers out there may smell smoke. Have no fear – there are no fires nearby,” the National Weather Service Chicago said in a tweet.
“The smoke is actually from Kansas, traveling some 600 miles overnight with the strong southwest winds,” the NWS said.
Several residents in Lake and McHenry counties reported smelling the smoke Thursday morning.
There are numerous fires in western Kansas, including in Hays County and Russell County.
The NWS said they issued an “Extremely Critical Fire Weather Outlook” for the Southern and Central Plains, which was a first during December in history.
“Dangerous, life-threatening fire weather conditions are likely with fast moving and uncontrollable fire spread due to extreme winds and dry conditions,” the NWS said in reference to the Kansas fires.
Wind gusts of more than 80 mph were reported in the areas where the Kansas fires were occurring, officials said.
The heavy winds caused the smoke to travel into Illinois late Wednesday into early Thursday morning.
Heavy winds were also reported Wednesday evening in northern Illinois.