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Expected hot, dry summer means more fire, smoke coming to Alberta

As the definition of a typical Canadian summer evolves, experts say "hot" and "dry" could be the buzzwords of the season.

That means Albertans should expect even more flames and smoke this year, even after a record-setting start to the wildfire season.

Meteorologists advise prepping for more extreme events and warnings.

"We're anticipating a very active wildfire year to at least continue," Environment and Climate Change Canada's Sara Hoffman said.

"The long-range forecast we have for summer will be conducive to the creation of that wildfire smoke."

Where that smoke ends up is hard to specifically track, but more days with an air quality index above 10 wouldn't surprise Hoffman.

"For folks in Canada -- especially in Alberta -- we should be prepared for a few very poor air quality days," she said.

"It's very reasonable to be concerned. And I would encourage everyone to take it seriously. Even folks without pre-existing health conditions can experience some negative health side effects from air quality that poor."

Calgary is under a new heat warning as of Tuesday afternoon -- one that's expected to last at least a few days.

While fire crews are always urging residents to be careful while smoking or starting recreational blazes, the main culprit is something a lot larger.

"With our changing climate, more active, longer wildfire seasons are expected," Hoffman said.

"That's just something that will come with climate change." Top Stories

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