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Tag: Alberta Wildfire

Wildfire smoke and extreme summer weather

Weathering the elements: strategies for extreme summer weather in southwestern Alberta

Southwestern Alberta has recently been slammed by major weather issues. The region is no stranger to such events, but with extreme weather hazards on the rise, it is important for visitors and locals alike to be prepared for anything.

Most concerning for our region in the summer are wildfires, floods, windstorms and drought. Emerging hazards for the region include extreme heat and wildfire smoke.

“We encourage people to know the hazards in our region and to think about how they may be more or less vulnerable in their particular location and home or work,” says Brett Wuth, director of emergency management for the Pincher Creek Regional Emergency Management Organization, which covers the MD and town of Pincher Creek and Cowley.

Suggestions and strategies are readily available online, but it can be daunting to find information for a specific weather event, especially on the fly.

For those filled with concern, fear not. This article will provide several strategies and recommendations from reputable sources to prepare you for increasingly common weather hazards.


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In Alberta, wildfire season officially begins March 1 and runs until Oct. 31. As dry conditions have become the norm for the province, so too have increasingly destructive wildfire seasons. Before a wildfire approaches, it is important to be prepared in the event of a sudden evacuation.

First and foremost, Albertans residing in or visiting areas at risk of wildfires are encouraged to download the Alberta Wildfire Status and Alberta Emergency Alert apps to receive alerts, status updates, wildfire locations, fire bans and more.

Be sure to have an emergency kit stocked with supplies such as water, food, a battery-powered or crank radio, a flashlight and extra batteries. Also, store important documents in a safe place above ground that is easily accessible.

When dealing with an approaching wildfire, listen for updates from authorities and be prepared to leave at any moment. Have belongings you’d take with you gathered and your vehicle stocked and ready. Animals should be moved to a safe location. Avoid locking pets or livestock in enclosures where they could be trapped.



Do not, under any circumstances, attempt to fight a wildfire yourself, as they move quickly and unpredictably. Wildfire crews are specially trained to manage such situations.

An evacuation alert can be upgraded to an evacuation order at a moment’s notice. If issued by authorities, obey it immediately; failing to obey it puts your and others’ lives at risk.

Following a wildfire, do not return to your property if authorities have not deemed it safe to do so or if there is visible structural damage. It is recommended to monitor potential hot spots around your home even days after a fire.

If you see a wildfire in a forested area, call Alberta Wildfire at 310-FIRE (3473). If a fire appears in your community, call 911. If you are unsure of the wildfire status in your area, visit


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With wildfires comes smoke. It is an increasingly common hazard for the region, so it is important to know how to handle this emerging problem.

Wildfire smoke can be very harmful, so it is crucial to monitor air quality in your area. You can do this through the Air Quality Events section on the Alberta Health Services website.

Children and the elderly, as well as those with heart- and lung-related health problems are at greatest risk from smoke inhalation.

“When extreme weather events happen, it’s often our seniors, young and most vulnerable that struggle the greatest,” says Wuth. “I encourage people to check regularly on their neighbours and extended family to see they are doing well.”

To help avoid breathing in harmful smoke, ensure windows and doors are shut, with vents and other openings sealed with some sort of adhesive to keep smoke out. Paper masks do not provide protection from smoke inhalation.

If you or a loved one is experiencing trouble breathing as a result of smoke, seek immediate medical attention.

“Paying attention to local media and downloading the WeatherCan and Alberta Emergency Alert apps will help people learn of local extreme weather incidents as they develop,” says Wuth.

Next week’s issue of Shootin’ the Breeze will provide more need-to-know information about other extreme weather hazards.


Kenzie Stewart of Crowsnest Pass competes in butterfly at the Pincher Creek Dolphins swim meet

Shootin’ the Breeze – July 17, 2024

Discover the top headlines from Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass. Stay up to date with local news and events in your community.

This week’s headlines:

Emergency crews respond swiftly to wind turbine fire

Alberta’s general surgery is at a tipping point, with lives on the line says AMA

Grizzly bears back in crosshairs as Alberta lifts hunting ban in select cases

Weathering the elements: extreme summer weather in southwestern Alberta

Fire restrictions in effect with ban in Forest Protection Area

Tribute to Dennis Novak of Eden’s Funeral Home

The butterfly effect – Dolphins’ swim meet

Heed the heat – tips to keep dogs cool and hydrated

Opinion: When is a grizzly hunt not a grizzly hunt

Heavy Airship set to land hard at the Empress

Meet your backyard neighbours

Obituary: Robert (Bob) Edward O’Brien

Celebration of life: Dana Hungar

Pincher Creek Humane Society Pet of the Week

Town of Pincher Creek events and notifications

Frontier Canadian Recollections – Pincher Creek’s exciting 1928 baseball season

Plus local events, contests, concerts, community notices, job opportunities, service directory, Coffee Break puzzles and general information for Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and Piikani Nation.

Owen Crow Shoe of Pincher Creek rides his horse as parade marshal leading the Calgary Stampede parade on the front page of the July 10, 2024, issue of Shootin' the Breeze

Shootin’ the Breeze – July 10, 2024

Get the scoop on what’s happening in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass. Stay informed about local news, events, and community projects.

This week’s headlines:

Owen Crow Shoe rides as Stampede parade marshal

Piikani Nation RCMP looking for suspect in aggravated assault

Pincher Creek musician Aly Williams drops first single from mountaintop

Pincher Creek Swimming Pool celebrates 25th anniversary

Alberta commits millions to methane reduction

Co-op cybersecurity incident impacts local shelves

Town, MD of Pincher Creek residents urged to conserve water as heat wave envelops province

Acceptance and strength sewn into works of local artisan Laurel Francis

Editorial: Rekindling the news flame

Editorial: Calgary Stampede recollections

Embrace Summer feature section

Geat ready for the heatwave

Try a digital detox this summer

MD of Pincher Creek sponsoring free Weeds and Wildflowers guided walks

A taste of summer

Obituary: Gertrude Welsch

Obituary: James Tillack

Celebration of life: Dana Hungar

Pincher Creek Humane Society Pet of the Week

Town of Pincher Creek events and notifications

Frontier Canadian Recollections – Chronicles of Pincher Creek area’s gas industry Part 2

Plus local events, contests, concerts, community notices, job opportunities, service directory, Coffee Break puzzles and general information for Pincher Creek, Crowsnest Pass and Piikani Nation.