Smoke from BC wildfires affecting air in the region.
A smoke event will occur in western and central Alberta.
Forest fires in BC are generating huge amounts of smoke over western Canada. This smoke has crossed the Rockies today and settled into much of central Alberta.
Due to the smoke, the AQHI will likely reach above 10, or very high risk, in parts of western and central Alberta tonight. There is some uncertainty as to where the thickest smoke will set up, but current indications are that the corridor of thickest smoke and thus poorest air quality will be between Hinton, Red Deer, and Edmonton.
The smoke will remain over western and central Alberta until at least Thursday afternoon or evening, when thunderstorms may flush out some of the smoke.
Special air quality statement in effect for:
- Co. of St. Paul near Ashmont St. Vincent and St. Lina
- Co. of St. Paul near Elk Point and St. Edouard
- Co. of St. Paul near Lindbergh and Frog Lake
- Co. of St. Paul near St. Paul and Lafond
- Improvement District 349 including Cold Lake Air Weapons Range
- Lac La Biche Co. near Fork Lake
- Lac La Biche Co. near Heart Lake
- Lac La Biche Co. near Lac La Biche and Square Lake
- Lac La Biche Co. near Lakeland Prov. Park and Rec. Area
- Lac La Biche Co. near Plamondon Hylo and Avenir
- M.D. of Bonnyville near Beaverdam
- M.D. of Bonnyville near Bonnyville Ardmore and Kehewin Res.
- M.D. of Bonnyville near Cold Lake and City of Cold Lake
- M.D. of Bonnyville near Fishing Lake Smt
- M.D. of Bonnyville near Glendon and Moose Lake
- M.D. of Bonnyville near La Corey Wolf Lake and Truman
- Smoky Lake Co. near Buffalo Lake and Kikino Smts
- Smoky Lake Co. near Vilna Saddle Lake and Whitefish Lake
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.
In general, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event. In fact, masks may lead to a false sense of security, which may encourage increased physical activity and time spent outdoors, meaning increased exposure to smoke. They can also make breathing more difficult.
People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.
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.
Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.
Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.
Issued by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Health