Edmonton weather: Wildfire smoke to stick around today, slight chance of showers tonight – Edmonton Journal

Edmonton weather: Wildfire smoke to stick around today, slight chance of showers tonight - Edmonton Journal
Across Alberta, B.C. and northern Ontario, thousands displaced as wildfires rage
A cyclist gets a view of the smoky downtown Edmonton city skyline on Friday May 31, 2019. Smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta continue to cover most of the province. Due to dry conditions the City of Edmonton has also issued a fire ban in the city. Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK

An air quality alert remains in effect for the city of Edmonton and surrounding area as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta continues to cause poor air quality and reducing visibility.

The scientists also carried out an “event attribution,” a method that compares the “probability of occurrence of an event” between one scenario that involves human-caused factors, and another with lesser human influence.

“The thickest smoke currently extends from northeastern British Columbia through eastern portions of Grande Prairie, Whitecourt, Drayton Valley, Red Deer and much of southern Alberta,” reads the alert. “The foothills should continue to see improvement this morning and into the early afternoon with the rest of southern Alberta improving Saturday.

“Currently eastern portions of Alberta have improved air quality and visibility in smoke however, conditions over these regions are expected to worsen late this afternoon and into the evening hours.”

The study found that the amount of area burned in 2017 was in approximately the 99th percentile of the current decade and that it was seven to 11 times bigger than it might have been without as much human influence on the environment.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Kenney said climate change is real, and that it can “prolong the dry season and things like that,” though he also said that North America experienced “huge forest fires” before there was human activity.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

While Calgary is no stranger to smoke from Alberta wildfires, the haze more often appears in August, when the season is at its peak. Three years ago, blazes razed entire neighborhoods in the oil-sands town of Fort McMurray and disrupted nearby operations. Wildfires in northern Alberta have so far spared production facilities, but its the third year in a row that Calgary, where most of the industry has its high-rise headquarters, is suffering severe smoke issues.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

CTV Edmonton reported that around 14 homes were destroyed and dozens others are in danger in the Metis settlement of Paddle Prairie, about 965 kilometers (600 miles) north of Calgary. The nearest big fires are about 500 kilometers away from Calgary. The town of High Level has been under an evacuation order since May 20. Evacuations have also been ordered for other areas including Keg River and Wabasca.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Wildfires have Canadians seeing red at sunrise

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Canadas oil capital woke up to smoke that made eyes sore and breathing uncomfortable, an earlier-than-usual sign of summer as wildfires burn in the forests north of Calgary.

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An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

The wildfire threatening Manning is called the Battle Complex Fire. As of Friday, it was about 52,000 hectares and still several kilometres to the northwest of Manning. Shifting winds and thick smoke remain big challenges for firefighers, who have come from as far away as Kenora and Timmins to help.

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Wildfire smoke is seen in the air in downtown near Edmonton House as an Environment Canada air quality warning is issued in Edmonton, on Thursday, May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

However, Alberta Wildfire said heavy smoke Thursday over the wildfires in the Slave Lake forest area reduced the “fire behaviour intensity.” As of 1 p.m. Friday, “overall fire behaviour of these wildfires was low to moderate, and they were not spreading significantly.”

A golfer hits a ball at the Derrick Golf Club on Thursday May 30, 2019. An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

“The MD has declared a local state of emergency because of that, but we’re not panicked at this point,” said Warman, who was a town councillor and firefighter during the 2011 wildfire that raced through part of Slave Lake, destroying more that 400 homes and buildings.

The Quesnell Bridge is obscured by smoke as a fisherman stands on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River, in Edmonton Thursday May 30, 2019. Smoke from northern wild fires has blanketed the Edmonton region Thursday. Photo by David Bloom   David_Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

About 5,000 people have been out of their homes in and around High Level in northwestern Alberta for more than a week. This week even more people from that region, as well as from near a separate wildfire by Manning about 250 kilometres to the south, were told they had to leave.

A bird's eye view of the smoky downtown Edmonton city skyline on Friday May 31, 2019. Smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta continue to cover most of the province. Due to dry conditions the City of Edmonton has also issued a fire ban in the city.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

“We began the day [Wednesday] with approximately 5,500 evacuees and we currently have over 10,000,” Dreeshen said in an update Thursday afternoon, after a day of hot temperatures and gusty winds led to the explosive growth of several blazes burning out-of-control.

A cyclist gets a view of the smoky downtown Edmonton city skyline on Friday May 31, 2019. Smoke from forest fires in northern Alberta continue to cover most of the province. Due to dry conditions the City of Edmonton has also issued a fire ban in the city.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Cyclists make their way through the smoke near 104 street and 83 Avenue, in Edmonton Thursday May 30, 2019. Smoke from northern wild fires has blanketed the Edmonton region. Photo by David Bloom   David_Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

A combination of high level winds in the atmosphere (jet stream) orientated across Ontario and Quebec, then over the Maritimes, and a passing cold front have created a path for some of the smoke to reach us.

A pedestrian walks through the smoke along the High Level Bridge Streetcar line, near 105 street and 85 Avenue, in Edmonton Thursday May 30, 2019. Smoke from northern wild fires has blanketed the Edmonton region. Photo by David Bloom   David_Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

Cyclists make their way through the smoke near 104 street and 83 Avenue, in Edmonton Thursday May 30, 2019. Smoke from northern wild fires has blanketed the Edmonton region. Photo by David Bloom   David_Bloom David Bloom /David Bloom/Postmedia

Speaking with Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at Environment Canada, it appears the smoke has contributions from wildfires in Manitoba and possibly Alberta.

Couple Joanne Lai and Alex Dong wear masks near the university in the very thick smoke drifting into the city from the wildfires up in northern Alberta, in Edmonton, May 30, 2019. Ed Kaiser/Postmedia   Ed Kaiser Ed Kaiser /Ed Kaiser/Postmedia

Saturday morning temperatures at the Edmonton Blatchford station measured 15.4 C with 14 km/h winds out of the south, southeast.

“Keep in mind it is at a much higher elevation. It’s got no impact on our Lower Mainland air quality which remains good,” Lacate says. “It’s really the combination of the marine air in the lower 500 meters or so of the atmosphere and it’s being overrun by this dissipating distant wildfire smoke, which is 5,000 to 10,000 meters above sea level.”

Today: Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud this morning. Widespread smoke. Wind becoming south 20 km/h near noon. High 24 C. Humidex 26. UV index 7 or high.

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Tonight: Partly cloudy. 30 per cent chance of showers this evening with risk of a thunderstorm. Low 13 C.

“Breathe easy, air quality has remained good all week long and it looks like that’s going to be the case on Thursday and into the weekend as well,” he adds. Meantime, all air quality advisories in the interior — related to the wildfire smoke in Alberta — have now been dropped.

Tomorrow: Sunny. Becoming a mix of sun and cloud in the afternoon. High 25 C. UV index 8 or very high. Low 15 C.

For those wondering if the 'colourful' sunrise/sunsets of late are a precursor to deteriorating #AirQuality: You can breathe easy around Metro #Vancouver for now, as dense/hazardous #wildfire smoke remains confined to the northeast corner of BC and all across Alberta. pic.twitter.com/JB3XFFWwGP

Forest fire season in Canada is already in full swing, with multiple communities under evacuation orders and thick smoke covering parts of Alberta, B.C. and northern Ontario.

METRO VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – You may have noticed the sky has looked a little hazy at times this week, but NEWS 1130 Meteorologist Russ Lacate says there’s no need to be concerned about what you’re breathing in.

In northern Alberta, tinder-dry conditions and intense heat have led to an explosive growth in wildfires, forcing about 10,000 people from their homes. 

Options include regularly checking air quality reports, exercising indoors, and keeping the air in homes clean by running an air conditioner — so long as you close the fresh-air intake and clean the filter to keep smoke from penetrating where you live, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Trout Lake, Alta., a community about 300 km northeast of Grand Prairie, came under an evacuation order Friday morning. A 133,000-hectare fire is raging about 14 kilometres south of the community.

About 5,000 people from the nearby community of High Level, Alta., have been out of their homes for more than a week. 

At least 10,000 people have been evacuated from regions across Northern Alberta as the blazes continue to burn. Across the province, there were 28 active fires and nine were considered out of control.

Several other communities in the region, including Wabasca, the Bigstone Cree Nation and Chipewyan Lake Village, have fallen under evacuation orders since Wednesday.

Similar conditions are hampering firefighting efforts in northern B.C. More than 230 blazes have been recorded since fire season in the province began on April 1 and of the 42 fires currently burning, nearly 65 per cent were caused by humans. 

The fire danger rating is listed as high to extreme across most of the Northwest and Prince George fire centres, which encompass the northern half of B.C., while large sections of the Coastal Fire Centre — which includes all of the South Coast and Vancouver Island — are also rated at a high risk for a blaze.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place thats cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isnt air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

In response to drought gripping much of the province, and continued blazes, the B.C. Wildfire Service is setting up a 150-person camp in the Dease Lake area in B.C.'s northern interior a few hours south of the Yukon border. 

Special air quality advisories from Environment Canada are in place for both cities (along with basically the entirety of the province), offering the following advice for anyone having difficulty breathing in the compromised air:

Nearly all of Alberta is under an air quality statement due to wildfire smoke

The camp to house firefighters and to oversee efforts to battle blazes is not linked to any specific fire; instead, the service expects potential new wildfire activity with the parched conditions.

The worst of the fires, the Chuckegg Creek Wildfire, has been burning for little over a week now, but it wasnt until a few days ago that the winds shifted and the wildfire smoke really made its way down south.

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"Firefighters will work out of the Dease Lake fire camp on a rotational basis throughout the summer. This will allow for quicker response times to new fire starts," the service said in a statement. 

Since then, Edmonton and Calgary have both been seemingly swallowed whole by the haze, leaving both cities looking like they were built on Mars rather than Earth.

Environment Canada rates Calgarys air quality as very high risk

A 3,000-hectare blaze has caused a state of emergency on Pikangikum First Nation north of Thunder Bay, Ont. Hundreds of people are being evacuated from the community, officials said Friday.

The multiple wildfires burning out of control in northern Alberta have caused the cityscapes of Edmonton and Calgary to nearly disappear in a smokey haze.

Alberta says 10,000 people are out of their homes because of wildfires

Crews are fighting the fire as members of the Canadian Rangers and the Canadian Armed Forces help co-ordinate evacuations from the community of 3,800. Evacuees are slated to be taken to Thunder Bay, Sioux Lookout and potentially other communities in northern Ontario. 

"Noting the seriousness of the situation, we have those assets participating so that if we do need to move a large number of people, they can help move a significant portion of them out of harm's way," said David Lavallee, a spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF).

Experts in fire management said the destruction and human cost of these blazes will intensify in the coming years as the climate changes. 

Slave Lake on evacuation alert, High Level fire continues to grow

An average of about 2.5 million hectares of land is charred every year during Canada's annual wildfire season, he said. "That's half the size of Nova Scotia, and it's doubled since the early '70s due to our changing climate," said Flannigan.

His research suggests the size of land consumed by wildfires will double or quadruple — again — as the Earth heats up.

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