US West Coast Wildfire Smoke to Reach NE SK on Monday

(Last Updated On: September 13, 2020)

According to smoke forecasts provided by FireSmoke Canada, the Canadian portal for information and resources about smoke from wildland fires, smoke from the fires burning on the US West Coast are projected to reach the Northeast region in Saskatchewan early in the morning of Monday, September 14th, 2020.

Our primary service is smoke forecasts from wildland fires using the BlueSky Canada system. This system produces forecasts of hourly ground-level concentrations of PM2.5 smoke particles from wildfires up to two days into the future.

The smoke forecast warns of levels of 1 to 10 PM2.5 starting in the early hours Monday morning with the possibility of levels peaking at 10 to 28 PM2.5 by mid to late morning.

Concentrations of 28 to 60 PM2.5 may reach the areas around Hudson Bay by early Monday afternoon and settle in most of the day until about mid evening, but aren’t anticipated to reach the Nipawin and surrounding Northeast areas.

Smoke in the Nipawin region is forecast to drop overnight and by Tuesday morning it’s anticipated to be back to 1 to 10 PM2.5, clearing up by the end of the day.

How much of a health hazard this anticipated smoke may pose to Northeast residents is unclear. As of the time of publication, Environment Canada has no air quality warnings issued, however that can change quickly.

Wildfire smoke, air quality and your health

Weather determines how the smoke will spread and where it will be carried by the wind. The smoke may remain near the ground, or rise to considerable heights. When the smoke stays high in the sky, the air may appear hazy but air quality measurements on the ground may show only low levels of pollutants. In these situations, the reported AQHI may be in the low risk range (AQHI 1 to 3), despite the visible smoke.

Wildfire smoke conditions can change very quickly. The AQHI observation is calculated using an average of the past 3 hour pollutant data. Therefore, if the smoke drifts in and out of your community quickly, the scale might not be able to capture the rapidly changing conditions. Smoke conditions may also be different in different parts of a community. Sometimes smoke levels at the air quality monitor (the equipment used to measure local air quality) may be different from those in another part of the community. In these circumstances, it is best to pay attention to your body, and adjust your outdoor activities, if you feel necessary. If you are experiencing symptoms, you should take action to protect your health.

Wildfire smoke, air quality and your health

You can view the live FireSmoke forecast here

Post Author: Joanne Francis

Joanne Francis is the Editor and Journalist for Nipawin News