Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Airdrie and the surrounding areas due to the wildfire smoke coming from northeastern British Columbia.

"[It's] causing a widespread area of very poor air quality and reduced visibility. Over a few parts of northeastern Alberta conditions have improved temporarily. Smoke is expected to return on Sunday."

Conditions should begin to improve Sunday night for much of the province. However, over northwestern Alberta, conditions are likely to remain poor through Monday or possibly Tuesday.

"Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke."

Residents are advised to stop or reduce their activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or they or someone in their care feel unwell. People respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common and usually disappear when the smoke clears."

Residents are advised to drink lots of water, which can help one's body cope with the smoke.

"Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air. If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator-type mask (such as a NIOSH-certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke."

According to the website, IQAir, PM2.5 concentration in Airdrie is currently 3.6 times the WHO annual air quality guideline value.

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