B.C. wildfire: Poor air quality continues in areas of Alberta due to smoke

Click to play video: 'Poor air quality in western Alberta, capital region Sunday due to smoke'
Poor air quality in western Alberta, capital region Sunday due to smoke
WATCH ABOVE: The air quality in western Alberta became very poor on Sunday, as a huge amount of smoke from the B.C. wildfires drifted in over the mountains – Aug 13, 2017

There was a strong smell of smoke in the air across Edmonton Monday morning, as a huge amount of smoke from the B.C. wildfires continued to drift over the mountains.

Edmonton’s the air quality health index (AQHI) was listed at 7 in the morning, which is considered to be high risk. But Environment Canada ended a special air quality statement for Edmonton shortly before 11 a.m. after the AQHI dropped to 3.

By 1:30 p.m. Monday, Edmonton’s AQHI had dropped to 2.

However, the air quality remained poor in other areas of the province.

READ MORE: Special air quality statement ended for Calgary

Environment Canada had special air quality statements for several communities along the eastern border of Alberta.

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Click here for an up-to-date list of the regions under the advisory.

Alberta Health measures the AQHI on a scale of 1 to 10, with the higher the number, the greater the health risk.

Lethbridge and Medicine Hat were expected to have the highest AQHI in the province Monday at 10+, which Environment Canada considers to be a very high risk.

READ MORE: B.C. wildfire forces music festival to wrap up early

Environment Canada said smoke from forest fires moved into west-central Alberta Sunday morning.

“Poor air quality and reduced visibility will result from the smoke. Smoke is expected to clear out by this evening.”

People may experience symptoms such as 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. The province said children and the elderly should avoid outdoor physical exertion when the AQHI is very high.

Environment Canada said generally, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event and may lead to a false sense of security.

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Those with breathing difficulties are advised to find an indoor place that is cool and ventilated. If your home isn’t air conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air conditioned.

With files from Slav Kornik 

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