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Special air quality statement dropped west of Edmonton as wildfire being held

Click to play video: 'Special air quality statement issued for areas west of Edmonton' Special air quality statement issued for areas west of Edmonton
WATCH ABOVE: A special air quality statement was in place for areas west of Edmonton Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Mike Sobel has the details and a closer look at the weather forecast – May 11, 2021

A special air quality statement that was issued Tuesday morning for areas west of Edmonton has been dropped. It comes as a wildfire burning in the area is now 65 per cent contained.

The air quality statement issued by Environment Canada encompassed areas of Parkland County, Lac Ste. Anne County, Sturgeon County and Yellowhead County. It was issued early Tuesday morning and dropped by 10:30 a.m.

Read more: ‘There were embers everywhere’: Security cameras show home nearly lost to Tomahawk wildfire

According to the federal weather agency, smoke from the wildfire burning west of Tomahawk, Alta., was causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in the area.

The air quality could become poor at times while the fire is active, Environment Canada said.

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The wildfire started Thursday afternoon west of Tomahawk, a hamlet located just southwest of Wabamun Lake.

On Tuesday morning, the wildfire was 65 per cent contained and being held. It remained at about 2,220 hectares in size.

Click to play video: 'Security cameras show home nearly lost to Tomahawk wildfire in Parkland County' Security cameras show home nearly lost to Tomahawk wildfire in Parkland County
Security cameras show home nearly lost to Tomahawk wildfire in Parkland County – May 10, 2021

Some residents in the area were forced out of their homes early Friday morning, but were allowed to return home on Saturday.

Fire crews were working hard to address hotspots within the fire perimeter. Officials warned there could be increased fire activity within the perimeter due to warmer, sunnier weather.

Roads in the area remain limited to local traffic only and a State of Local Emergency remains in place.

Read more: Mandatory evacuation order lifted after ‘no significant growth’ to Parkland County wildfire overnight

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With the wildfire smoke in the area, Environment Canada said some people may experience coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors and people with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are particularly at risk.

The Air Quality Health Index for Parkland County remained low at 2 on Tuesday morning, but could reach 10+ in areas where smoke is present.

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