What if the smoke from the west took over Quebec

What if the smoke from the west took over Quebec
What if the smoke from the west took over Quebec
Published on May 12, 2024 at 8:31 p.m.

Update May 12, 2024 at 9:00 p.m.

The heat of recent days has given new life to forest fires in Western Canada. Will all this smoke, which continues its route towards the east, invade us? Details.


In short :

  • Forest fires in Western Canada;

  • The trajectory of the smoke;

  • Its consequences in Quebec.

No smoke without fire

The first major heat of the season hit Western Canada: the mercury even reached 33.9°C on Friday in the municipality of Lytton. This heat, combined with the exceptionally dry weather of recent months, has brought back to life forest fires that were dormant during the winter.

The blazes that decimate the forests of northeastern British Columbia produce immense clouds of smoke that cross the country towards the east. This smoke greatly deteriorates air quality in Alberta. In Edson, in the northwest of the province, an air quality score of 232 was given. Such a score indicates very unhealthy air quality. A little further south, Calgary scores 155, which equates to unhealthy air quality.

CORR2 (SMOKE2)

The situation is alarming: authorities have issued evacuation notices, even orders, in Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie and Fort Nelson.

And Quebec in all this

It’s hard not to think of the smoke that covered the sky of Quebec for many days last summer: according to SOPFEU, 566 fires in intensive protection zones and 147 in northern zones decimated a total of more than 4.3 million hectares in Quebec in 2023. The area ravaged by blazes was 80 times greater than the average, a historic record.

SMOKE3

This time, the weather conditions are in favor of La Belle Province. The smoke, which is expected to invade a large part of the Minnesota sky in the form of smog, will not have significant consequences here. Indeed, when it reaches Quebec on Monday, through the western gates, it will essentially be at high altitude. In addition, the simultaneous arrival of a new system will be beneficial: the showers will limit the spread of smoke.

SMOKE4

Good to know: contrary to what one might believe, the peak of forest fires occurs in spring. During the season, Quebec records an average of 275 forest fires.

SEE ALSO: Historic solar storm: the sky lights up in Quebec

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