Calgary facing moderate air quality risk as wildfire smoke drifts south

May 29 2019, 4:46 pm

A number of places in Alberta are under air quality advisories a result of the massive wildfires burning in the province.

According to the Weather Network, air quality in Calgary is currently considered to be a moderate risk.

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The massive cloud of smoke can be seen covering most of Alberta, including Calgary and Edmonton as seen through an image from firesmoke.ca, a website used to track smoke forecasts from wildfires.

wildfire smoke

firesmoke.ca

The darker orange spots on the map indicate higher quantities of particulate matter in the atmosphere, which can have adverse health effects.

The smoke from the wildfire has even reached parts of Metro Vancouver.

Environment Canada has issued a number of air quality statements and warnings for parts of Alberta.

wildfire smoke

Environment Canada

Places impacted by the special air quality statements include Fort Chipewyan, High Level, Rainbow Lake, Fort Vermillion Mckenzie Highway, Peace River, Fairview, High Prairie, Manning, Wabasca, Peerless Lake, Gift Lake, and Cadotte Lake.

According to the statement issued by Environment Canada, the wildfire smoke is contributing to poor air quality and reducing visibility in some of these areas.

“Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk” reads the statement.

A heat warning has also been issued by Environment Canada for Fort McMurray and Fort McKay.

“Heat warnings are issued when very high-temperature conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion,” states the warning.

Residents are reminded to continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada for the latest updates and advisories.

According to the Alberta Health Services website, the biggest health risk comes from small particles in the air.

Alberta Health Services recommends:

  • People stay inside as much as possible and bring pets inside
  • Stay hydrated
  • Keep all windows and doors closed.
  • reducing exposure to wildfire smoke for older adults, those who are pregnant, smokers and those with heart or lung conditions
  • Close fresh air intakes from furnaces, fireplaces, or stoves
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