Nearly all of Alberta under wildfire-caused air quality alert

May 31 2019, 12:47 am

If you’re an Albertan, odds are you’re currently facing an air quality statement from Environment Canada.

The agency has issued the statement to 30 of Alberta’s 34 regions, warning that smoke from the northern Alberta wildfires is causing “poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas.”

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The following Alberta locations are currently under the statement:

  • Bonnyville
  • St. Paul
  • Cold Lake
  • Lac La Biche
  • City of Edmonton
  • City of Calgary
  • St. Albert
  • Sherwood Park
  • Drayton Valley
  • Devon
  • Rimbey
  • Pigeon Lake
  • Fort Chipewyan
  • Wood Buffalo National Park
  • Fort McMurray
  • Fort MacKay
  • Fort Saskatchewan
  • Vegreville
  • Redwater
  • Smoky Lake
  • Grande Prairie
  • Beaverlodge
  • Valleyview
  • Hanna
  • Coronation
  • Oyen
  • High Level
  • Rainbow Lake
  • Fort Vermilion
  • Mackenzie Hwy
  • Hinton
  • Grande Cache
  • Leduc
  • Camrose
  • Wetaskiwin
  • Tofield
  • Lloydminster
  • Wainwright
  • Vermilion
  • Provost
  • Nordegg
  • Forestry Trunk Road Highway 734
  • Peace River
  • Fairview
  • High Prairie
  • Manning
  • Red Deer
  • Ponoka
  • Innisfail
  • Stettler
  • Rocky Mountain House
  • Caroline
  • Slave Lake
  • Spruce Grove
  • Morinville
  • Mayerthorpe
  • Evansburg
  • Wabasca
  • Peerless Lake
  • Gift Lake
  • Cadotte Lake
  • Westlock
  • Barrhead
  • Athabasca
  • Whitecourt
  • Edson
  • Fox Creek
  • Swan Hills
  • Brooks
  • Strathmore
  • Vulcan
  • Airdrie
  • Cochrane
  • Olds
  • Sundre
  • Drumheller
  • Three Hills
  • Medicine Hat
  • Bow Island
  • Suffield
  • Cypress Hills Provincial Park
  • Foremost
  • Lethbridge
  • Taber
  • Milk River
  • Okotoks
  • High River
  • Claresholm
  • Jasper National Park

Some central parts of the province are expected to be cleared of smoke by Friday morning as the winds are forecasted to shift southeasterly, though anyone currently living in a part of Alberta where the statement is active is encouraged to be aware of the risks involved when air quality is compromised.

The statement notes that symptoms of poor air quality include increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath and that children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases, such as asthma are especially at risk.

Environment Canada offers the following advice for anyone experience symptoms caused by the smokey haze:

“Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.”

Slave Lake, an area where many High Level evacuees fled to following the town’s mandatory evacuation, has now fallen under its own evacuation notice, with the Municipal District of Lesser Slave River facing a Local State of Emergency and an immediate evacuation of the Hamlet of Marten Beach.

A mandatory evacuation was also recently called for the County of Northern Lights, and the areas of Old Smith Highway, Mitsue, Poplar Lane, Fawcett Lake, Eben Road, and Bayer Road are seeing an eight-hour evacuation alert.

The smokey haze caused by the wildfires has even travelled as far west as Vancouver, BC.

Chandler WalterChandler Walter

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