B.C. wildfire smoke in the Maritimes!

The sun becomes an orange ball due to wildfire smoke, SE Calgary, AB, 14 Aug 2018 (Dearing)

British Columbia is more than 4,000 kilometres away from New Brunswick but that hasn’t stopped forest fire smoke from making its way across Canada.

On Friday afternoon, Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement: A plume of smoke from fires in Western Canada is moving at high altitude across the Maritimes today causing hazy skies and a reddish sun.

This smoke is not expected to reach the surface or affect air quality in our region and the plume will move off to the east tonight.

The British Columbia Wildfire Service says more than 600 fires are burning in the province with many regions still under air quality advisories.

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Smoke impacts Alberta air quality

Smoke over downtown Calgary, AB, 14 August 2018 (Dearing)

Smoke from forest fires in British Columbia is streaming into Alberta resulting in poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Environment Canada says smoke conditions can change quickly during wildfires but air quality will be poor for the rest of the week.

Small children, seniors and anyone with chronic conditions are especially at risk.

British Columbia has declared a state of emergency with over 560 out-of-control wildfires forcing 3,000 residents from their homes and another 20,000 are under evacuation alert.

Northeastern Ontario burning

ON fire

Helicopter drops water on eastern flank of Parry Sound 33 fire, 30 July 2018 (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources)

A forest fire in northeastern Ontario is edging dangerously close to the Trans Canada Highway which links the northern and southern parts of the province.

Known as Parry Sound 33, the fire has burned more than 100 square kilometres since it began on 18 July and smoke has been creating poor air quality.

Many small communities, south of Greater Sudbury, are either being evacuated or are on alert to leave at a moment’s notice.

More than 600 firefighters from across North America have arrived to help battle this blaze and dozens of others across the region.

Forest fires burn at CFB Gagetown

Three forest fires are continuing to burn at Base Gagetown with drifting smoke causing poor air quality in Oromocto and nearby Fredericton.

Training exercises on the sprawling military base reportedly ignited the fires in recent days which have not posed any threat to homes or structures.

A smoky sky over the New Brunswick capital city prompted public health officials to urge children, seniors and anyone with lung conditions to stay indoors.

Water bombers have been attacking the fires which have burned over 1,000 hectares to date amid very dry conditions.

Much needed rain arrives in Maritimes

RainAug17

Notable rainfall amounts, 17 Aug 2016 (CTV/Twitter)

Greater Moncton recorded its highest rainfall event of the summer yesterday when more than 35 mm fell during what has been a very dry season.

Much of southern New Brunswick received between 20 and 60 mm of rain while unofficial reports in central Nova Scotia indicated as much as 100 mm fell.

The moisture lifted a burn ban across the region and helped temper forest fires in southwestern Nova Scotia.

The precipitation has also been welcomed by many farmers who have been struggling this summer.

Northern fires create poor air quality

Forest fire smoke envelops Yellowknife, NWT, 16 August 2014 (Twitter)

Forest fire smoke envelops Yellowknife, NWT, 16 August 2014 (Twitter)

More than 50 forest fires are currently listed as out of control in the Northwest Territories during what has become a summer of fires.

The blazes have scorched more than three million hectares of land and have created drifting smoke which has meant poor air quality in numerous communities including the capital of Yellowknife.

Smoke from the fires has also been carried southeastward by the jet stream to Ontario, Quebec and the Northeastern United States keeping daytime highs lower than normal.

Commercial fishermen also say the fires have dramatically raised temperatures in rivers and streams leading to a scarcity of fish.