While the summer of 2018 will be remembered as a smoky one across western Canada, it’s not shaping up to be the worst we’ve seen in Saskatchewan.
The smoke from the B.C. wildfires blocked out the sun in parts of the province and Alberta before it blew further across the prairies.
Environment Canada tracks a statistic called smoke hours. The hours are counted when smoke reduces visibility to 10 kilometres or less.
Regina has had 97 smoke hours so far this summer, well off the record of 173 set as wildfires burned in northern Saskatchewan in 2015.
It would take more than another full day of smoke for Saskatoon to break its record. Saskatoon has had 136 smoke hours which is shy of its record of 162 set in 1981.
Environment Canada’s Terri Lang said as a meteorologist, the smoke this summer was amazing to watch as it flowed from B.C. toward Saskatchewan.
The smoke would settle down into all the valleys of British Columbia during the night then bubble up in the afternoon.
“All the smoke would just come belching out of these really intense fires, especially through central British Columbia. It was amazing, just the volume of smoke that was being produced.”
Lang doesn’t doubt that we may still see some smoke coming over from B.C. but it’s not expected to reduce visibility like it did earlier this summer. There also isn’t much wildfire smoke coming from northern Saskatchewan.
“All the smoke that came in this summer, that all came in from British Columbia and Alberta. They’re getting a handle on their smoke situation just because the weather has been so wet and cool now.”