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Smell smoke in Quebec? It's probably not coming from Alberta wildfires: expert

Many have to be outside despite the smoke

Some in southern Quebec woke up to the smell of smoke Thursday morning -- but unlike what you might expect, it's probably not because of the Alberta wildfires, according to Environment Canada's senior climatologist.

Speaking to CJAD 800 radio, David Phillips said it's likely due to a common farming practice in which smoke is used to protect crops from frost.

"It's almost as if it's a fumigating kind of situation from local sources," he explained.

This approach has been used recently at Vignoble de Pomone, for example, a vineyard in Coteau-du-Lac just west of the Island of Montreal that is documenting the process on Facebook.

While the scent of smoke was minimal in Montreal early Thursday, CJAD 800 listeners from the Eastern Townships, the West Island and the North Shore reported catching a whiff. 

LISTEN on CJAD 800: Why do parts of Montreal smell like smoke this morning?

But it's nothing compared to the situation in Alberta and Saskatchewan, where raging wildfires have covered swaths of the region in a thick layer of smoke and forced many to stay indoors.

If smoke from the western fires ever makes it to Quebec, said Phillips, it likely won't be all that detectable by smell:

"You'd probably see the evidence in brilliant sunrises and that red glow of the sun." Top Stories

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