Wildfire smoke seemed like a permanent fixture in Alberta this summer. In May, smoke from wildfires in the province impacted communities and industry. In July, a mix of wildfire smoke from British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and wildfires right here in Alberta covered most of the province. Again in August, wildfires in Washington smoked out south and central parts of Alberta. From highway closures to health concerns, Albertans have been feeling the impacts from wildfire smoke. You can track smoke forecasts here.
Story by Duane Fizor – Information Content Coordinator for Alberta Parks in Kananaskis Country
Remember when the Alberta Parks Cross-Country Ski Trail reports were faxed out once per week? This was they way much of the information was sent – as few as 10 years ago. It’s hard to believe that now, thanks to Alberta Parks employees, “Live Grooming Reports” can send updates sent to your email as the snow is being groomed.
In 2012 an early version of the new system was hardwired into the Pisten Bully snow cats at the Canmore Nordic Centre, but in 2013, through the Alberta Parks Innovation Fund, money was secured to develop an app for equipment operators which, when downloaded to an iPhone, would track the grooming equipment using the internal GPS antennae. So instead of receiving grooming information days after it occurred, avid cross-country skiers can now view the new grooming information in real time!