VICTORIA -The BlueSky Western Canada Forecasting System has been expanded this year to include smoke forecasts from all the Western Provinces, as well as areas of the Yukon, Northwest Territories, Ontario and the U.S. border states, Environment Minister Terry Lake said in recognition of Clean Air Day.
The BlueSky system combines forest fire information and weather forecasts to provide the location and concentration of smoke over Western Canada up to 48 hours into the future. Operated by the University of British Columbia's department of earth and ocean sciences, smoke forecasts are produced daily and displayed in visual animations of locations corresponding with fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentrations due to smoke.
People can simply visit BlueSky to see hour-by-hour forecasts of smoke and wildfires in Western Canada available on the B.C.'s air quality website: www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky
Smoke from wildfires can affect visibility, respiratory health and the ability of people to participate in outdoor activities. The information provided on BlueSky is a valuable source of information for health authorities as different levels of smoke are provided in colours that correspond to different intensities of matter at ground-level.
The Ministry of Environment has led the development of the system in partnership with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, Natural Resources Canada, Environment Canada, the University of British Columbia, the Alberta Department of Environment and the U.S Forest Service.
Clean Air Day occurs on the first Wednesday of June every year and aims to raise public awareness about the need to protect and promote clean air.
To learn more about BlueSky Western Canada Forecasting System, go to: http://www.bcairquality.ca/bluesky/
Ministry of Environment