The skies were pretty clear of smoke over the long weekend but now it's back. And not only that, but we had falling ash, definitely a new experience for me. My first impression was "Oh look! Snow!" (I almost wished it was given the hot temperatures we had had last week.) A fellow Fort McMurrayite dropped me a comment to say that ash was also falling in Gregoire, an area of town to the south of Fort Mac. It was definitely the worst I've seen it so far out on site and it was quite difficult at times to make out the cranes and the coker towers from where I work. We were given the option to head home early but since by that time there was only about an hour left in my shift, I elected to stay. Things weren't all that better in town either. Hopefully we get a little rain soon to wash the pungent odour out of the air.
To my knowledge, we have only one fire currently listed as out of control....at a whopping 184,000 hectares. I've had the sense that although the smoke is a concern, there generally isn't any real alarm that what happened down in Slave Lake will happen here. One of my foremen is from BC so smokey summer skies are old hat to him. I did joke with him the other day though that if I ever see him running I will do my best to keep up.