It seems like smokey skies from forest fires has become an annual tradition for Alberta, and this year is no different. Environment Canada released a special air quality statement warning people about the smoke for the following areas:
- Wheatland Co. near Strathmore Lyalta and Carseland
- Wheatland Co. near Hussar
- Wheatland Co. near Standard and Gleichen
- Co. of Newell near Bassano
- Co. of Newell near Brooks Rosemary and Duchess
- Co. of Newell near Gem
- Co. of Newell near Scandia and Kinbrook Island Prov. Park
- Foothills Co. near Blackie
- M.D. of Taber near Enchant
- Rocky View Co. near Chestermere Dalroy and Dalemead
- Siksika Res. 146
- Vulcan Co. near Arrowwood Herronton and Queenstown
- Vulcan Co. near Carmangay and Champion
- Vulcan Co. near Lomond Travers and Little Bow Reservoirs
- Vulcan Co. near Milo
- Vulcan Co. near Vulcan and Ensign
Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.
Staying out in the smoke for extended periods could lead to symptoms like 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.
If you have a lung disease like asthma or COPD, you could be particularly sensitive to the air pollution. Serious health effects could kick in at lower levels, and if you feel symptoms kicking in Environment Canada recommends seeing a doctor.
If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. You can learn more here.
For more information please visit Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx.