Edmontonians wake up to another smoky sky, but air quality expected to improve
Smoke from the wildfires in British Columbia continued to cause very poor air quality in Edmonton on Saturday morning.
All of Alberta continued to be under an air quality advisory. Alberta Health measures the air quality health index (AQHI) on a scale of one to 10, with the higher number, the greater the health risk.
On Saturday morning, Edmonton was at 10+ or Very High Risk, which is the highest level on the scale.
Edmontonians continued to post photos of the smoke in and around the city:
The smoke turned day into night in parts of northern Alberta on Friday.
Photos showed an orange haze looming over one job site in Grande Prairie on Friday at around 12 p.m. and dark, smoky skies in Valleyview, which is approximately 110 km east of Grande Prairie.
The good news for Edmonton is that air quality is expected to improve throughout the weekend. The health index was expected to improve to a 6 or moderate risk by Saturday evening, and was expected to drop to 4 on Sunday.
At 10:35 a.m. Saturday, Environment Canada issued an update that said the heaviest smoke was thinning just north of the capital region, but air quality would persist through the day.
“Outdoor activities are strongly discouraged for most of today with some improvement likely later this afternoon and evening,” the statement read.
The smoke was thinning in Edmonton early Saturday afternoon. Alberta Health had the AQHI at 5 or moderate at noon.
The Edmonton Eskimos will host the Montreal Alouettes at Commonwealth Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday.
The team released a statement on Friday that read, “It is still too early at this time to be definitive about the conditions that can be expected tomorrow. So we continue to prepare for a kickoff at 7 p.m. on Saturday.”
But late Saturday morning the Eskimos said the game would proceed:
“A favourable weather forecast, featuring winds of 20 to 30 kilometres per hour, and ongoing measurement of the air quality in Edmonton, including readings taken at the stadium itself, indicate the situation caused this week by smoke from wildfires is steadily improving,” the statement read.
“We have consulted weather experts who advise us the air quality will be at acceptable levels by kick-off for the game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the visiting Montreal Alouettes.”
B.C. declared a provincial state of emergency on Wednesday due to the hundreds of wildfires burning across the province.