Special wildfire-related air quality statements in place for Calgary and most of Alberta
Western Canada is blanketed in a thick layer of wildfire smoke reducing visibility and prompting special air quality statements.
According to the Air Quality Health Index, Calgary's air quality was rated at an eight Monday morning, which, on a scale of one to 10+, is considered high risk. It was down to a three by Monday afternoon which is considered low risk.
The heavy smoke in the air can cause those with respiratory health concerns to feel worse.
Wildfires are raging in British Columbia and, here in Alberta, fire officials continue to douse hot spots of a wildfire near Dead Man's Flats on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore.
The fire near Canmore is currently being held and is considered under control, but the blaze contributed to heavy smoke over the weekend since it ignited Friday evening.
The B.C. Wildfire Service says there are approximately 270 active wildfires burning in that province.
According to Environment Canada, the smoke pollution can cause increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.
The smoke includes a mix of particles, chemicals and gases in air that is considered harmful and its recommended that people limit their time outdoors.
The air quality in southern Alberta is expected to improve by Tuesday evening with rain in the forecast.
TRAVELLERS WATCHING THE SKY
Several Calgarians have told CTV News they have cancelled road trips to B.C. this month or returned early to be on the safe side with conditions changing by the hour.
Some Albertans have opted to stay closer to home.
“We’ve been travelling around Alberta for a while and we go (to B.C.) when it’s less smoky. We didn’t have much choice here because you have to book in advance so we’re hoping it will be okay,” said Mike Golko, from Sherwood Park is camping in Kananaskis Country for four nights with his family.
Golko said they usually travel to B.C. once a year but might may plans for later tin the fall or won’t go this year because of the crowds and wildfires.
Bob Fuschs was just passing through Alberta from Manitoba on his motorcycle to visit family in Shuswap Lake.
“We gotta go, I’m not getting any younger,” said Fuschs, but said family is keeping them updated on conditions.