Numerous people living in Edmonton and surrounding areas are reporting seeing a meteorite-like fireball that lit up the sky.

It not been confirmed as a meteor by official sources, but many witnesses report seeing "bright orange flames" with a large tail that shot horizontally across the sky and then disappeared.

Others said it looked like horizontal lightning, where all the clouds in one huge swath were lit up.

Richard Bellington said he was driving north of Highway 2 on his way to Edmonton when he saw the sky light up.

The flames were so bright and appeared to travel so close to the ground that he called 911.

South Edmonton resident Peter Koroluk said it was hard to tell where it landed.

"It came down with a huge tail following and it had lit up past way behind it attached to the ball," he said. "This ball was about the size of a football."

Callers as far as Onoway, Beaumont and Cold Lake also report seeing the ball of flames. Stations as far north as Fort McMurray are also passing along sightings.

Some experts say the fireball could be part of the Leonids meteor showers, where activity has been predicted to begin on Nov. 17.

Officals with NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defence Command, confirm it was not a man-made object and it poses no threat to North American security.

Chris Herd, a meteorite scientist at the University of Alberta, said people shouldn't panic after seeing such a sight.

"The sky's a big place," he said. "It can play tricks, these fireballs can play tricks with you and it can look like they fell over there, when it actually can be tens of thousands of kilometres away. The fact that we've got reports as far away as Cold Lake, Saskatoon and Airdrie tells you can see it from a long ways away."

Comment: Yes, perhaps it is so. But it doesn't mean that people shouldn't panic, especially if there is a heavily populated city or perhaps an industrial area located 'tens of thousands of kilometres away'.

This is no word whether the meteorite actually hit land.