The haze hanging over the city is not just harmful for aspiring skyline photographers—the fine particulate matter in the air has also caused the Environment Canada to issue a special air quality statement for Calgarians, urging those with breathing difficulties to stay inside.
The statement was issued at 4:18 am Thursday morning, only five hours after Environment Canada clocked Calgary Southeast in at a nine on the Air Quality Health Index, a high risk for everybody, regardless of medical conditions.
The World Air Quality Index currently has Calgary Southeast at a 151—unhealthy for everyone—though puts the max in that area at 186, one point above Beijing’s current air quality index for fine particulate matter.
Environment Canada stated that air-conditioned buildings will be helpful for those with asthma or COPD, though anyone may begin to experience coughing, irritation of the throat, difficulty breathing, and headaches due to prolonged exposure to the polluted air.
There is some hope (and potentially blue skies) on the horizon, however, as Environment Canada expects the air pollution to drop down to “Low Risk” by Friday morning.