Smoke is drifting into southern Alberta, leaving the sky hazy and prompting Environment and Climate Change Canada to issue a special air quality statement for the Airdrie area and much of the southern half of the province.
The statement was issued as of 9:16 this morning and includes the following areas:
Rocky View County near Airdrie and Crossfield
Rocky View County near Cochrane
Rocky View County near Bottrel and Madden
Mountain View County near Carstairs and Stirlingville
Mountain View County near Cremona and Water Valley
Mountain View County near Olds and Didsbury
Mountain View County near Sundre
The meteorologists say smoke is drifting over the Rockies, causing poor air quality and reduced visibility at times, due to elevated values of fine particulate matter. Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and vary considerably from hour to hour.
At 9:00 am the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Airdrie was rated as a four on the 10+ scale or a moderate risk. It's expected to remain there until at least Sunday night,
According to Environment Canada, a rating of four means that at-risk 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.
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.
Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.
For more information, you should consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.
You can also get more details from Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx.
A heat warning also remains in place for Airdrie and the area.
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