An air quality advisory issued for Yellowknife as smoke from Alberta wildfires drifted north has come to an end, but warnings remain in other areas of the southern NWT.
Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a statement on Monday evening warning residents of many areas that poor air quality and reduced visibility were likely.
As of Tuesday morning, advisories remained in place for Hay River and the Dehcho.
Wind moving the smoke west is likely to mean air quality improves across Yellowknife and the South Slave on Tuesday.
However, the change in wind direction means the Dehcho, particularly Fort Liard, could see a severe drop in air quality on Wednesday and Thursday.
"If you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms, contact your health care provider for advice," read the statement, issued jointly alongside the NWT's environment and health departments.
Two wildfires south of the northern Alberta town of High Level – one of which triggered an evacuation order in the community on Monday – are the source of most of the smoke now circulating in the NWT.
Smoke from fires near Slave Lake, AB, is also contributing.
Two lesser fires either side of Peace Point in northeastern Alberta are sending a smaller volume of smoke toward the Fort Smith region of the territory.
In other developments during the holiday weekend:
- three wildfires began in the South Slave, all caused by people, one requiring the use of air tankers;
- High Level's evacuation on Monday saw residents in Hay River, the Kátł’odeeche First Nation, and Fort Providence offer assistance to evacuees; and
- the NWT government warned people not to try driving through High Level if attempting to travel between the NWT and Alberta.
Fire danger is rated high or extreme throughout most of the southern NWT, with no sign of any rain in the forecast for the week ahead.
Temperatures are expected not to exceed around 10C for Yellowknife and parts of the South Slave, though highs could hit 20C in Fort Simpson and the Dehcho.
On Monday, the territorial government urged anyone on the land to take extreme care, particularly with campfires.
Some residents, anxiously observing events south of the border with Alberta, called on Monday for the NWT to begin activating and enforcing fire bans.