Air quality in Yellowknife 'very high risk'
According to Environment Canada's index, the city's air quality was a 14/10 Sunday
Smoke from a forest fire burning 30 kilometres away from the city seeped into Yellowknife again this weekend, forcing Environment Canada to issue a special air quality statement for both Saturday and Sunday.
Environment Canada has an air-quality index that measures the particulates — or pollution, like dust — in the air. It has a scale from one, when there's a low risk that the air quality will affect someone's health, to 10, which is considered a high health risk.
The index also has a "+10" category, which indicates quite literally when a region's air quality is off the charts.
That was the case for the Yellowknife region this weekend.
Saturday morning, air quality was only at two, but by 1 p.m. the index had shot up to 18. On Sunday, Environment Canada had originally predicted it to get even worse, reaching a maximum of 21. But as of 6 a.m. MT, it says it will get to about 14.
The last time air quality was that bad in the region was two weeks ago.
Heavy smoke blanketed the city Saturday and Sunday, clouding views across Great Slave Lake during the Old Town Ramble & Ride festival.
Once again, Yellowknifers couldn't escape the smoky smell, which made its way indoors even with windows and doors shut.
Environment Canada's special air quality statement says "individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath" this weekend. For anyone who does, they're advised to avoid strenuous activities and stay indoors.