A special air quality statement has been issued for Edmonton and surrounding communities.

According to Environment Canada, smoke from northern Alberta wildfires is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in many areas around Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park.

As of 9:00 a.m., the Alberta Air Quality Health Index rated air quality in the Edmonton metro region at 5 and 6 out of 10, which is considered to be moderate risk.

Earlier in the morning, the rating was at 7 out of 10, which is considered to be high risk.

Residents could experience coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Seniors, children, or anyone with lung disease are particularly at risk.

"If you have other respiratory conditions, such as asthma or maybe some cardiac problems, then sometimes those symptoms can occur earlier," AHS Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kathryn Koliaska said.

Anyone with health difficulties should stay in a cool, ventilated place with windows closed.

The Edmonton Eskimos chose to practice indoors on Thursday, while the Edmonton Prospects went ahead with their game.