Smoky skies impact kids and vulnerable Calgarians
Camps forced to reassess their activities after health warnings issued for air quality
A haze continues to hover over Calgary thanks to forest fires to the west, and although air quality has improved since Monday, the smoky skies continue to concern some.
Karen Godel says she and her daughter Audrey both suffer from chronic lung diseases and won't even take the chance of going outside when conditions are smoky.
"It's pretty tough, when you can't breathe you can't really do much else with your life," she said.
Kids camps affected
The people running the University of Calgary's day camps are watching the air quality to see if programming needs to change, but they did spend the morning inside on Monday after warnings were issued.
The outdoor activities have also been scaled back.
"Yeah, each morning we're going to have to reassess, look at the air quality index, as well as we're going to gauge just based on campers' reactions," said Logan Jones, the youth programs manager at the U of C.
"So a lot of it is the leaders monitoring the campers themselves."
Air quality to be worst in central Alberta
He said it was a challenge to find space inside for all 1,500 kids on Monday, but they have experience with these kinds of conditions from previous years.
Other camps, including the YMCA's Chief Hector, are making similar changes to programming while air quality is a concern.
On Monday, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Calgary reached seven out of 10 (high health risk) before dropping to four (moderate health risk) later in the day.
By Tuesday morning it had dropped to two (low health risk). Later in the day it's expected to rise again to four, and it could reach six by Wednesday, according to Alberta Environment and Parks.
Environment Canada says central Alberta will likely get the worst of the smoke on Wednesday, with AQHI ratings of 10 out of 10 in some areas.
"There is some uncertainty as to where the thickest smoke will set up, but current indications are that the corridor of thickest smoke and poorest air quality will be between Hinton, Red Deer, and Edmonton," the agency said on its website.
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Bring us your meat, your veggies, your pet poop: Calgary composting starts on Tuesday
- MORE CALGARY NEWS | Smoky skies from B.C. wildfires expected to last days, if not weeks
With files from Sarah Lawrynuik