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UPDATE - 12:00PM, MAY 18, 2016

Fort McMurray and surrounding communities are experiencing extremely high AQHI levels due to smoke from nearby forest fires. Please refer to Alberta Health Services for current Air Quality Advisories.

Fort Chipewyan:

  • AQHI is currently 2 (Low Risk). AQHI of 10 is forecasted for today, 5 for tonight and 2 for tomorrow.

Fort McMurray:

  • AQHI is currently 13 (Very High Risk), with very high particulate matter concentrations; 147 ug/m3 at Patricia MacInnes (north area) and 319 ug/m3 at Athabasca Valley (located in the Lower Townsite).
  • A special air quality statement remains in place and AQHI of 10+ is forecasted for today, tonight and tomorrow.

Anzac:

  • WBEA technicians are currently calibrating the Anzac air monitoring station. Real-time readings will be available from the Anzac stations shortly. AQHI Forecast is 10+ for today, tonight and tomorrow.

Six Additional Portable Particulate Monitoring:

  • Fire Hall #1:  Back online. PM2.5 readings currently ~600 ug/m3 as of 7 AM.
  • McDonald Island: High PM2.5 readings, currently PM2.5 600-700 ug/m3 as of 7 AM.
  • Clearwater: High PM2.5 readings, currently 420 ug/m3 as of 7 AM.
  • Keyano College: High PM2.5 readings, currently 227 ug/m3 as of 7 AM.
  • REOC/YMM Airport: High PM2.5 readings, currently 178 ug/m3 as of 7 AM.
  • First Nation Health Centre (Gregoire Lake, South of Ft Mac): Unit has been sending invalid data. Last valid PM 2.5 reading was 9 ug/m3 3:00 AM .

MAML (mobile air monitoring laboratory):

  • The Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting Agency (AEMERA) has been monitoring air quality in Fort McMurray communities via their MAML. The maximum PM2.5 concentration measured at the Urgent Care Centre (downtown) yesterday afternoon was 114 ug/m3. Today, monitoring will be conducted in the Abasand (AM) and Timberlea (PM) communities.

Conklin Lookout/Conklin:

  • WBEA technicians are currently calibrating the Conlklin air monitoring station. Real-time readings will be available from the Conklin station shortly. This area is does not have AQHI forecasting.

Fort McKay:

  • A special air quality statement remains in place for the Fort McKay area, and the AQHI is currently 2 (Low Risk) at Fort McKay-Bertha Ganter and Fort McKay South air monitoring stations. AQHI forecast is 10+ for today, 10 for tonight and 7 tomorrow. PM concentration is currently 5.13 ug/m3 at Fort McKay-Bertha Ganter and 4.96 ug/m3 at Fort McKay South.

Smoke Forecast:

  • Smoke from fires near Fort St John (Alberta BC border) and from Fort McMurray fire is travelling to the east, but could have some southward movement today. Conklin, Cold Lake and Lac La Biche areas could be impacted. Models do not take into account rain that is forecast for these areas however.
  • Plumes are forecast to continue to move eastward from both the Fort McMurray and Fort St John fires tonight and tomorrow. Much of the smoke mass is forecast to remain in the northern part of the province, and will impact north of Fort McMurray, Fort McKay, Fort Chipewyan and Anzac.
  • Fires in BC will continue to bring smoke into Alberta. Smoke is also forecast to travel into the Fort McMurray area from the BC fires today and tonight.