Calgary air quality deteriorates as wildfires rage in Western Canada

By Rod Nickel
May 16, 2023
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Western Canadian city of Calgary received a special weather alert on Tuesday, warning residents of poor air quality and reduced visibility as tinder-dry weather and shifting winds elevated the risk of spreading wildfires in the oil-producing province of Alberta. Some 90 wildfires are active in Alberta, with 23 out of control, according to the provincial government, forcing about 20,000 people out of their homes. At one point the fires forced oil and gas producers to shut in at least 319,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, or 3.7% of national production. …A cold front bringing gusty northwest wind, but little rain, was likely on Tuesday, according to Environment Canada’s weather department. The change in wind direction can pose a problem for firefighters as the path of the fires changes suddenly, said Christie Tucker, spokesperson for the Alberta Wildfire agency.

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