Smoke from Alberta wildfire reaches into Yukon

Smoke from a wildfire burning near High Level, Alta., has so far reached as far as Dawson City, Yukon — and it’s expected to linger over the territory for the next few days.

“There have been winds originating in the southeastern part of Yukon that have carried that smoke from western Alberta up to, at this point, large portions of Yukon,” said Mike Fancie, fire information officer with Yukon Wildland Fire Management.    

“We’ve seen readings as far afield at this point as Dawson and Faro. And based on our readings of the smoke forecast, we’ll continue to see the smoke affecting communities farther north as well.”

Smoke from High Level had already reached Watson Lake in southeast Yukon on Tuesday, prompting the territorial government to issue an air quality advisory for that community. 

By Wednesday afternoon, smoke was visible and could be smelled in Whitehorse.

Forecasts say smoky conditions are expected to continue in Yukon for at least the next few days. (FireSmoke.ca)

Fancie said the forecast suggests that Yukon will likely be affected by smoke from Alberta for the next few days, “but it’s anyone’s guess as to the severity and intensity in individual parts of the territory.”

He says Yukon has seen 18 wildfires so far this year, but they’re not responsible for the smoky air right now.

“Although these conditions right now have not been caused by Yukon wildfires, it’s an important reminder that fire season is upon us,” he said.