Smoke from the B.C. wildfires is being pushed into the southern part of the province and health officials are advising people with respiratory issues to be aware of the conditions and to take precautions.

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement on Monday morning for Calgary and surrounding communities and says the smoke is expected to clear out during the day.

The statement was ended for Calgary just after 3:45 p.m.

Air quality in the city is currently rated at a four, which is a moderate risk, and the weather agency says it should be lowered to a two overnight.

Health officials say residents may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath and that children, seniors and people with breathing issues are especially at risk.

Alberta Health Services has the following advice for those who are susceptible to smoke:

  • Monitor your symptoms
  • Minimize physical activity outdoors
  • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed
  • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air

Officials say people can also reduce the presence of smoke indoors by:

  • Close and lock all outside windows and doors, including attached garage doors.
  • Turn down furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting. Do not attempt to extinguish pilot light.
  • If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems”, that bring more smoky outdoor air inside.
  • Switch all floor registers to closed position.
  • Close fire place dampers on wood burning fireplaces.
  • Do not use wood burning fireplace, wood stoves or other smoke-producing appliances or features, including candles.

For more on Air Quality Advisories from Alberta Health Services, click HERE.

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