Canada’s Wildfire Smoke Prediction System (FireWork)
Daily smoke forecast maps from early April to late October

Model Details

Smoke from wildfires in forests and grasslands can be a major source of air pollution for Canadians. The fine particles in the smoke can be a serious risk to health, particularly for children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease. Because smoke may be carried thousands of kilometres downwind, distant locations can be affected almost as severely as areas close to the fire. To help Canadians be better prepared, wildfire smoke forecast maps are available through the Government of Canada’s FireWork system. FireWork is an air quality prediction system that indicates how smoke from wildfires is expected to move across North America over the next 48 hours.

  • Evening forecast: a computer-generated smoke animation that indicates how wildfire smoke is expected to spread hour by hour, for the next 48 hours (starting at 00:00 UTC and updated at 05:30 UTC). One-hour steps in the animation can be viewed separately.
  • Morning forecast: a computer-generated smoke animation that indicates how wildfire smoke is expected to spread hour by hour, for the next 48 hours (starting at 12:00 UTC and updated at 17:00 UTC). One-hour steps in the animation can be viewed separately.
  • Wildfire smoke and Air Quality: Effects of wildfire smoke on your health, actions you can take to protect yourself, and more about the FireWork prediction system.

As fire and smoke conditions can change quickly, always check with your local health and emergency officials for the latest developments.

Using the FireWork Forecast Maps

FireWork operates during the wildfire season from early April to late October. The FireWork system makes it possible to include the effects of wildfire smoke in forecasts of air quality by estimating the amount of pollution that will be added to the air. These smoke forecast maps show how the air quality in your community may be affected by wildfire smoke. Environment and Climate Change Canada will also issue air quality alerts when smoke concentrations are expected to be high.

The FireWork forecast maps indicate anticipated air quality conditions and not the current air quality. Current conditions are updated every hour in your community’s Air Quality Health Index.

FireWork: Technical Summary

FireWork is an air quality prediction system that incorporates emissions from wildfires. The system runs twice daily, initialized at 00 and 12 UTC, alongside the Regional Air Quality Deterministic Prediction System (RAQDPS). Wildfire emissions are estimated using hotspot and fuel consumption data on Canadian and American land provided by Natural Resources Canada’s Canadian Wild Fire Information System. The hotspot dataset is downloaded twice daily, prior to the FireWork system runtime. FireWork benefits from having the complete emissions inventory as well as the added intermittent fire sources. The images and animations presented here are obtained by subtracting the RAQDPS output from the FireWork prediction system, in order to isolate the PM2.5 contribution of wildfire emissions.

Note: The FireWork system forecasts are based on estimated wildfire emissions, which have a certain degree of uncertainty. This factor should be considered when interpreting FireWork predictions.

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