An air quality advisory issued for the City of Calgary remains in effect as smoke from the wildfires in B.C. continues to blow into the province.

A smoky haze is hanging over the city and Alberta Health Services has issued precautionary air quality advisories for several zones in the province.

"We pretty much have a province-wide precautionary air advisory, because there's no predicting where that smoke is going to go to," said David Strong, medical health officer for Alberta Health Services, Calgary zone. "I think right now Calgary area's got the worst in terms of the air quality, but it's going to fluctuate."

Residents and visitors are advised to take precautions against potential health issues associated with the smoky conditions.

According to Environment Canada, the air quality health index for Calgary is currently sitting at 5 or moderate risk.

CTV Calgary Meteorologist, David Spence says the majority of the smoke over the city is coming from the Verdant Creek fire in Kootenay National Park.

As many as 37,000 people have been evacuated from their homes in British Columbia and fire officials say more than 160 wildfires were burning on Sunday.

Almost 3000 firefighters are battling blazes across B.C. including several crews from other provinces.

Parks Canada officials say the Verdant Creek wildfire has grown since Saturday and a number of backcountry areas in Banff and Kootenay National Parks are now closed to recreational users.

Parks Canada staff are managing the fires and say a fire ban for backcountry areas in Banff National Park will be implemented due to the elevated fire danger.

The following areas are closed:

  • In Kootenay, the area near Verdant Creek and south to the Simpson River is closed. 
  • In Banff, the Egypt Lake area, Healy Pass, Citadel Pass, Sunshine Meadows and Village areas are closed.  Hiking in the Sunshine area is closed, but the gondola and Upper Village remain open.

To check the Air Quality Health Index in Alberta click HERE.

For more information visit the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website, HERE.


(With files from The Canadian Press)