Environment Canada to improve smoke forecasting

Environment and Climate Change Canada is responding to recommendations from last year’s unprecedented wildfire season by changing how it provides smoke and air quality information to the public.

A new Air Quality Advisory with a banner notification is now available on weather.gc.ca and the WeatherCan app. The advisory is issued when the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) exceeds 10 for three or more hours during wildfire smoke events, which means a very high-risk level is present. Environment Canada says the change will clarify when outdoor air presents a health risk to the public.

Environment Canada is also launching an improved air quality forecasting service this July. In addition to regular weather forecasts, the ministry will begin providing air quality forecast maps and wildfire smoke prediction. The maps will show the expected path of wildfire smoke across Canada and North America while also showing the estimated air quality due to fires. The website is called FireWork and is expected to go live in late July.

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