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IN PICTURES: Smoke smothers Calgary, air quality jumps off the charts

Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Barb De Vos/submitted

Thick smoke settled into southern Alberta Thursday, and continued to stifle air quality on Friday.

Thursday evening, the air quality health index in Calgary jumped from a 4 to 10 in a matter of three hours.

READ MORE: Wildfire smoke can harm your lungs, your heart, and maybe even your mental health: research

Environment Canada’s air quality health index scale, with 1 being a “low” health risk up to 10+ which is a “very high” health risk.
Environment Canada’s air quality health index scale, with 1 being a “low” health risk up to 10+ which is a “very high” health risk. Cody Coates/Global News

By Friday morning at 11 a.m., the AQHI had launched off the charts and to a score of 18.

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According to Environment Canada’s Health Index, physical exertion and strenuous activities outdoors should be limited or avoided, especially for children, elderly and anyone with respiratory illnesses while the numbers are so high.

 

Alberta Environment and Parks and Airshed provides raw AQHI data from monitoring stations aross the province.
Alberta Environment and Parks and Airshed provides raw AQHI data from monitoring stations aross the province. Cody Coates/Global News

Large sections of northern Alberta are being consumed by wildfires and almost every day has brought new advisories and orders.

The fires are burning in multiple areas hundreds of kilometres apart, triggering evacuations of several communities in northwestern and north-central Alberta.

Here is a summary of the existing alerts and orders across Alberta.

Traffic issues such a road closures are posted to the Alberta 511 government website.

The smoke travelled farther south, prompting Environment Canada to expand special air quality statements to include the entire southern portion of Alberta.

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READ MORE: Alberta wildfires: Evacuation alerts and orders in place across the province

Weather alerts issued from Environment Canada at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019.
Weather alerts issued from Environment Canada at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, May 31, 2019. SkyTracker Weather

Winds will continue blowing from the south over the weekend, which should help improve conditions in southern Alberta.

To stay updated with weather alerts in your area, download the Global News Skytracker weather app for iPhone, iPad or Android.

IN PICTURES: Smoke as seen from viewers around southern Alberta

Photo taken by Len Flexhaug west of Nanton, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Len Flexhaug west of Nanton, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Len Flexhaug/submitted
Photo taken by Tracy Forsyth-Lundy in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Tracy Forsyth-Lundy in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Tracy Forsyth-Lundy/submitted
Photo taken by Susan Bif in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Susan Bif in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Susan Bif/submitted
Photo taken by Shannon Dass in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Shannon Dass in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Shannon Dass/submitted
Photo taken by Shannon Dass southwest of Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Shannon Dass southwest of Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Sue Arkes/submitted
Samantha Anderson - Rosebud.
Samantha Anderson - Rosebud. Samantha Anderson/submitted
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Photo taken by Ruth D. in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Ruth D. in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Ruth D./submitted
Photo taken by Randy Herdman in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Randy Herdman in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Randy Herdman/submitted
Photo taken by Patti Morton in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Patti Morton in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Patti Morton/submitted
Photo taken by Mike MacLean in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Mike MacLean in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Mike MacLean/submitted
Photo taken by Janet Hoover in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Janet Hoover in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Janet Hoover/submitted
Photo taken by Jody Owens in Aldersyde, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Jody Owens in Aldersyde, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Jody Owens/submitted
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Photo taken by Jay Guilmette in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Jay Guilmette in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Jay Guilmette/submitted
Photo taken by Junelle D in Millarville, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Junelle D in Millarville, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Junelle D/submitted
Photo taken by Kourtney Nicole in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Kourtney Nicole in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Kourtney Nicole/submitted
Photo taken by Megan Gibson in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Megan Gibson in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Megan Gibson/submitted
Photo taken by Mike Goyke in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Mike Goyke in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Mike Goyke/submitted
Photo taken by Mike MacLean in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Mike MacLean in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Mike MacLean/submitted
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Photo taken by Dave Gardiner in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019.
Photo taken by Dave Gardiner in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019. Dave Gardiner/submitted
Photo taken by Christian Ravary in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Christian Ravary in Okotoks, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Christian Ravary/submitted
Photo taken by Barb Carla MacEachern in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Barb Carla MacEachern in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Carla MacEachern/submitted
Photo taken by Brittany Reilly in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Brittany Reilly in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Brittany Reilly/submitted
Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Barb De Vos/submitted
Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Barb De Vos in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Barb De Vos/submitted
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Photo taken by Alexander Lafferty in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Alexander Lafferty in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Alexander Lafferty/submitted
Photo taken by Adrian Carol in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 .
Photo taken by Adrian Carol in Calgary, Alta. on May 31, 2019 . Adrian Carol/submitted

READ MORE: Smoke from the Alberta wildfires is obscuring the sun in several U.S. cities

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Refer to the Government of Alberta Air Quality Health Index website for the most current AQHI rating in your area.