'Poor air quality': Advisories in effect for Edmonton and most of Alberta
The majority of Alberta was placed under an air quality advisory by Environment Canada as wildfire smoke worsens.
Nearly all of southern and central Alberta were placed under a special air quality statement Saturday afternoon as wildfire smoke continues to impact visibility and create poor air quality.
“Wildfire is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” the advisory read.
“Be air aware,” the weather agency added.
Exposure to wildfire smoke can cause symptoms like coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath. Those with cardiovascular conditions or lung diseases, such as asthma, are at a higher risk of symptoms.
Environment Canada forecasts conditions will improve by Tuesday for central regions and by Wednesday for southern Alberta.
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The weather agency recommended reducing time spent outdoors and finding an indoor place that is cool and ventilated.
Environment Canada placed areas from Banff National Park, Grande Prairie, Lac La Biche, Cypress Hills, Calgary, and Waterton Lakes National Park under the air quality advisory.
Many of those same regions are also under a heat warning as temperatures soar above 30 degrees Celsius with little respite forecasted in the overnight hours. Saturday marked the second day in a row Edmonton broke the record high.
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“If your home is not air-conditioned, be sure the house doesn’t get too warm when doors and windows are closed to keep out smoke. Exposure to too much heat can also result in illness.
“If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air.”
On Sunday morning, Edmonton’s air quality health index was measured as a three, which Environment Canada says is a low risk. The air quality will decrease as the day goes on with a forecasted maximum value of seven, or high risk.
Calgary had an index of four Sunday morning, a moderate air quality health index rating. The city is forecasted to reach seven Sunday evening as well.
Other areas of the province had similar air quality forecasts, including Drayton Valley, Edson, Fort Saskatchewan, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, and Red Deer.