Air quality in southern Alberta expected to worsen as more smoke blows in

Special air quality statements have been issued for parts of southern Alberta as smoke from wildfires in B.C. continues to blow into the province.

Air quality health risk ranges from moderate to high in some regions

Thick smoke fills a soccer pitch in Calgary last weekend. Air quality statements have been issued again for parts of Alberta. (Dan McGarvey/CBC)

Special air quality statements have been issued for parts of southern Alberta as smoke from wildfires in B.C. continues to blow into the province, causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Environment Canada issued the statements Friday morning for the following regions:

  • Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds and Sundre.
  • Banff National Park.
  • City of Calgary.
  • Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek and Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Kananaskis and Canmore.
  • Nordegg and Forestry Trunk Road Highway 734.
  • Okotoks, High River and Claresholm.

The agency says people may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath from wildfire smoke.

A look at the smoke forecast for Calgary starting at midnight on Friday. (

Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease can be more sensitive to poor air quality.

"If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure," read the statements.

There are 277 wildfires burning in B.C., the majority of which are in the southern part of the province.

Scientists say extreme weather events like heat waves and storms are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, which increases wildfire risk as forests dry out and many fires are ignited by lightning strikes.

For a full list of current warnings from Environment Canada, click here.

Non-profit expanding resources to keep tabs on Calgary-area air-quality amid wildfires.

3 months ago
Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) recently started expanding their network by installing smaller monitors dedicated to monitoring hazardous particles in the air. 2:23


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?