Alerts in Effect
Special Air Quality StatementIssued at 15:50 Thursday 20 July 2017
The smoke from the forecast fires in BC will continue to affect western and central Alberta.
This smoke will produce AQHI values near 8 to 10, or very high risk, in parts of western and central Alberta tonight. The thickest smoke is in a corridor from Hinton to Edmonton to Red Deer.
The smoke has temporarily lifted over areas near Calgary and the AQHI there will improve tonight. However, the weather pattern is expected to bring the smoke back into southern Alberta late Friday and elevated AQHI values are expected to continue through the weekend.
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.
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.