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‘We’re expecting that this season will be pretty bad’: Smoky summer on the horizon

It’s hazy, it smells and it’s a sign that another Alberta summer is on the horizon.

“Over the last five to 10 years, we’ve been seeing that impact of forest fires has been increasing,” said Mandeep Dhaliwal with the Calgary Region Airshed Zone.

“We’re expecting that this season will be pretty bad.”

Zoe Exner and her pup Sophie were out enjoying the dog park on Monday.

She says poor air quality isn’t something she wants to get used to.

“I absolutely hate new normals and it just seems like the new normal is never as good as the old normal. And it’s just a horrible phrase that is now unfortunately normal,” Exner said.

“It’s brutal with the dog. … Sometimes, I’m just going to send her to daycare so that she can exercise and run around inside and not have to take her outside.”

Alberta has dozens of wildfires and there are another 24 in B.C.

Wildfire smoke from Fort Nelson, B.C., is trickling across the Rockies and blowing into Calgary.

“We will do our part to put out as many of the large-scale wildfires here in the province, but we don’t have total control over the wildfires, of course, that are happening outside of Alberta,” said Christie Tucker, Alberta Wildfire, information unit manager.

Alberta Wildfire says despite fires raging in Alberta, the smoke is coming from B.C.

“Over the coming few days, I think we might just get lucky. Looking at the weather forecast, we might not see an impact. … Red Deer and Edmonton are going to see the impact,” Dhaliwal said.

Experts say Calgary generally sits between a one and three on the Air Quality Health Index, but now we’re seeing moderate conditions around a five.

Anything seven and above, health-care professionals say to cancel outdoor activities.

The higher that index goes, the more severe an impact for young children and seniors, along with those with pre-existing medical conditions.

The smoke forecast does show Calgary to be looking pretty good over the next 24 hours or so. 

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