Calgary

Air quality statement issued for Calgary as wildfire smoke blankets sky

A special air quality statement has been issued for Calgary and surrounding areas on Wednesday due to forest fires burning near Hudson Bay, Sask. 

Meteorologist says winds should shift by mid-day Thursday

Smoky skies are seen overlooking downtown Calgary from Renfrew N.E. around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. A wildfire in east central Saskatchewan has caused a special air quality statement for Calgary and surrounding areas. (Tony Seskus/CBC)

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.

Comments

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?

now