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Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Edmonton, AB Canada
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Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

We had planned to go to Jasper next week, but with the wildfire occurring in B.C. and now spreading to Banff, considering cancelling due to the air quality/visibility. However, I cannot find any info online re what the visibility or air quality is like and any suggestion as to what conditions are in Jasper; hoping a local or someone who just came from there can advise me. This is the only vacation I get this year, but if I am heading to Jasper for the fresh air, beautiful views, and hiking, and cannot enjoy these activities, better off staying home.

Thanks in advance, please let me know!

Calgary, Canada
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for Canadian Rockies
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1. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Please see the thread on the forest fire.

Jasper is quite smoky now from the fires up north (which are BTW, nowhere near the fire in Banff NP). I know visibility is poor in Jasper and assume they have an air quality advisory as well.

However, with rain and cooler temps in the forecast, the situation could be quite different next week. I would decide until at least the weekend - not worth cancelling a perfecting good trip over something that could be much better in a few days.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

The wildfire in Banff National Park is called the Spreading Creek fire, named for one of the drainages where it is burning. It is located in north-eastern BNP and out onto provincial lands in Alberta along highway 11 (near Nordegg), and did not spread or come from BC. Those are separate fires.

It is hazy in Jasper right now, and has been, to varying degrees, for the last several days. It changes from day to day; I'm sure wind direction has a lot to do with it, and as ksneds mentioned, the situation may improve with rain over the next few days.

I am not aware of an air quality advisory, but it's possible... I don't know where to find that information. I was hiking on Monday, and far-off visibility was poor, but nearby (next mountains over) was fine - not crystal clear, but you could see. It also varies from valley to valley (winds again, I assume); I have friends who hiked the Skyline Trail over the past two days, and their pictures are quite clear, compared to mine just a couple of valleys over.

Worcester...
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3. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

I just returned from Jasper and it was very hazy in most of the park. It was disappointing due to the poor visibility, we did Sulphur Skyline on Saturday morning and the views were definitely affected. It's even worse when you try to take a photo, the haze just doesn't allow the scenery to come through :(. That being said, the park is still gorgeous and we still had a great time.

SE Ontario
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4. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Pretty hazy on the Maligne Lake webcam ...

http://www.malignelake.com/webcam.html

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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5. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Cool! I didn't know there was a webcam up at Maligne! Will add that to my collection of webcam links. Thanks for posting, phpr.

It's also overcast and raining here in Jasper (townsite) right now (that's a good thing ... as long as we don't get any lightning) ... that also affects visibility.

Edmonton, AB Canada
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6. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Thanks to all replies. Keep them coming with further updates, I'll take the advice to wait a few days before making a decision.

Texas
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7. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

Me too. We are facing the same decision.

Edmonton, Canada
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for Edmonton, Yellowknife
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8. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

It's been raining most of the day in Edmonton and further west. And we had poor air quality here yesterday.

Saturday, they are forecasting 80% chance of precipitation, 90% in Jasper, and some light rain in Jasper tomorrow. It could be enough to clear out some of the smoke and help stop the fires.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

same with me, I think we are going to cancel the trip :(

Texas
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287 posts
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10. Re: Air quality and visibility -smoke situation from forest fire

We decided to keep our plans however we did change hotels in Jasper to one with a/c incase the smoke gets too bad we could close up. Hope we get lucky this trip. One of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.

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