Air quality in Calgary poses high risk as wildfire smoke settles

The Edmonton skyline appeared smoky Sunday afternoon as Environment and Parks raised the air quality index briefly to a high risk of 7

Air quality in Calgary poses high risk as wildfire smoke settles

Alberta Health Services (AHS) first issued a precautionary air quality advisory around 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and within an hour Environment Canada backed that up with an official weather statement.

Smoky conditions in central and southern Alberta worsened Sunday evening promoting Environment Canada to issue an air quality advisory.

The Air Quality Health Index rating for the Central Okanagan is now a two out of 10, which means it's not a threat to health just yet, but a smoky skies warning has been issued and conditions are expected to deteriorate.

An AQHI level of 7 to 10 indicates a high risk to health, while a 4 to 6 is within a moderate risk range.

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Residents of the North Zone of AHS, and visitors to the North Zone of AHS, are advised to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

Minor smoke doesn't usually cause health concerns but, if conditions become more severe people may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat and possibly shortness of breath. Run your auto fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change. Children, seniors, and those with heart or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk, the agency said.

For up-to-date information on the air quality across the province, visit Alberta Health's website. Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

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