(Advocate file photo.)

Alaskan wildfires likely cause of smoke over Central Alberta

The Jet stream is bringing down air from northwest

Smoke from wildfires burning as far away as Alaska, or even Russia, is being blown over Central Alberta, threatening our air quality.

The culprit seems to be the Jet stream, which is channelling northwestern air over this province, said Derek Gagnon, provincial information officer for Alberta Wildfire.

While some wildfires are burning in B.C. and Alberta, that’s not where the smoke is coming from. Gagnon said meteorologists have pinpointed Alaska as the probably source, as there are some very large out-of-control forest fires blazing there.

Fires in the Yukon and northeastern Russia could also be producing some of the smoke. Gagnon said it’s definitely blowing from that direction.

While Alberta has 12 smaller wildfires burning (the closest is near Hinton), they are all under control and would not be producing that amount of smoke, he added.

The Jet stream isn’t expected to shift for the next few days, so Central Alberta’s air could be smokier than usual through the weekend.

Alberta Environment hasn’t put out any air quality advisories as of early Wednesday afternoon, but there were some advisories issued for northern B.C. which is seeing more smoke. Gagnon said the situation could change if more sooty air comes our way.

If anyone experiences respiratory problems, Gagnon suggests calling 811 Health Link.


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