Yellowknife is seen through an orange glow of wildfire smoke on June 3, 2023. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio
The Northwest Territories has placed four of its five regions under a public health advisory related to wildfire smoke.
The territory’s chief environment health officer said prolonged poor air quality in the Dehcho, North Slave, South Slave and Sahtu “poses a risk to the health of the community members.”
On Monday afternoon, according to sensors newly installed in various NWT communities, air quality in the territory was comfortably among the worst in the world.
Monday’s advisory didn’t come with any change in guidance but sought to remind residents of the dangers such poor air can pose – and some of the ways to stay as healthy as possible in the circumstances.
For example, don’t do anything strenuous outdoors and keep your windows and doors closed, the advisory stated.
Across the Dehcho, from Fort Liard and Nahanni Butte to Fort Providence, sensors on Monday recorded peak air quality index measurements of above 300, considered “emergency conditions” on the website of sensor company PurpleAir.
In Yellowknife, Monday’s average air was a marginally better AQI of 174 as of 4:30pm, posing a risk to sensitive groups but not ordinarily the general public.