Air quality statement issued for Calgary as wildfire smoke blankets sky
Meteorologist says winds should shift by mid-day Thursday
A special air quality statement has been issued for Calgary and surrounding areas on Wednesday due to forest fires burning near Hudson Bay, Sask.
The wildfire in Saskatchewan has been the primary source of surface level smoke in Alberta over the past few days and had prompted a special air quality statement in parts of central Alberta, including Edmonton, Tuesday evening.
As of 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, alerts were still in place for the following regions:
- Airdrie - Cochrane - Olds - Sundre.
- Bonnyville - St. Paul - Cold Lake - Lac La Biche.
- Brooks - Strathmore - Vulcan.
- City of Calgary.
- Drumheller - Three Hills.
- Hanna - Coronation - Oyen.
- Lloydminster - Wainwright - Vermilion - Provost.
- Red Deer - Ponoka - Innisfail - Stettler.
Environment Canada says poor air quality and reduced visibility are expected to continue Wednesday evening. As of 7:40 p.m. MT, the air quality in Calgary was a 7 on the Air Quality Health Index, which is considered high risk.
The smoke may cause symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, and seniors, as well as those with cardiovascular or lung disease, are considered especially at risk.
Meteorologist Justin Shelley with Environment and Climate Change Canada said shifting winds were expected to pull that smoke from Saskatchewan out of the area by mid-day Thursday or earlier.
He added that they've also been tracking upper level smoke coming out of Montana in recent days.