“The safety of our residents, vendors, performers and staff is our priority,” the city wrote.
Most residents’ cameras, their electronics overcompensating, produced images that didn’t fully reflect quite how dark and daunting conditions were.
The sky appeared so threatening that multiple residents wrote to ask Cabin Radio if a new fire had started nearby. (We have no report of any such fire, nor does any satellite data indicate one.)
Smoke modelling websites suggest the smoke over the city right now is a mixture from huge fires in northern British Columbia and northern Alberta. A lick or two of particularly acrid smoke might also be coming from a fire well to the east of Fort Resolution.
Needless to say, the air quality reading in Yellowknife on Saturday morning was well into the worst available rating in Canada’s system.
Things were similarly bleak in Hay River, Enterprise and Fort Resolution.
The smoke forecast continues to show an outside chance that the smoke clears for a few hours in the afternoon, but there’s just as much chance that poor air stalls over the city for the full day.
Sunday is also expected to be smoky, but Monday’s forecast is for winds from the northwest to push the smoke east and give Yellowknife a clean, if cloudy day.