Yellowknife on the evening of August 23, 2023. Photo: Nadine MacDonald
Yellowknife should enjoy a mostly smoke-free Monday – only the second day since the city’s evacuation ended that air quality isn’t expected to reach a hazardous low.
The bad news? The smoke is likely to make a comeback on Tuesday, driven by fires in northern Alberta and east of Fort Resolution.
But the forecast suggests Wednesday might be another clear day as wind from the north pushes the smoke back toward the south and southeast.
Broadly speaking, the forecast is similar for the South Slave, though Fort Smith may be significantly smokier than Hay River in the days ahead.
Smoke modelling remains a difficult science, requiring the ability to predict both fire behaviour and atmospheric changes. These forecasts come from FireWork, Environment Canada’s smoke model, and FireSmoke.
Saturday will live long in residents’ memories for the grisly, at times bright-orange morning the smoke produced across South Slave communities, in Yellowknife and even at the territory’s diamond mines to the northeast. But the air quality did pick up significantly in Yellowknife later that day.
Though Sunday remained smoky, by Monday morning Yellowknife’s air had almost completely cleaned up its act. As of 6am, the air over the city registered one out of 10 on the Air Quality Health Index scale, the cleanest possible rating.