Wildfire smoke prompts air quality advisory for Edmonton and surrounding area

An special air quality statement has been issued for the Edmonton region. Global News

A special air quality statement has been issued for the City of Edmonton and several surrounding areas due to wildfire smoke that has drifted into the region from northeastern British Columbia causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

The statement was issued at 8 a.m. Saturday at which time the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Edmonton was at a 10 (high risk) but was forecast to peak at a 10+ (very high risk) by Saturday night and then gradually clear throughout the day Sunday.

The statement said conditions are expected to improve over eastern parts of the province Saturday night while other regions will see some improvement by Sunday afternoon.

In northwestern Alberta, conditions are expected to remain poor through Monday or Tuesday.

Special air quality statements have been issued for Strathcona County, St. Albert, Lamont County, Sturgeon County and stretching west to Drayton Valley and Edson.

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Air quality alerts are also in effect for most of the northern half of the province where two wildfires are currently burning.

Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values for the Grande Prairie and Fort McMurray regions are expected to peak at 10+ (very high risk) on Saturday.

“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke,” the statement read.

People with respiratory challenges such as asthma, those with heart disease, as well as children, older adults and those who are pregnant are advised to stay indoors.

Click to play video: 'Canada preparing more firefighters, technology ahead of wildfire season'
Canada preparing more firefighters, technology ahead of wildfire season

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