Air quality in Central Zone expected to be affected by B.C. forest fires

Even healthy individuals may experience problems

Alberta Health Services has issued a precautionary air quality advisory across much of the Central Zone due to the wildfires burning in British Columbia.

Air quality is expected to be variable across much of the region over the coming days and possibly, weeks.

The Air Quality Health Index for Red Deer was showing low risk on Tuesday morning through to Wednesday.

AHS said in the advisory that although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions.

These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.

Residents of, and visitors to, the Central Zone are advised to take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air: monitor your symptoms; minimize physical activity outdoors; remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed; if you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed; run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.

Individuals experiencing symptoms can also call Health Link 24 hours a day, seven days a week, toll-free at 811, to speak to a registered nurse.

Air quality will vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds., and as such, will remain in effect until further notice.

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website: Air quality information is also available by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-247-7333Call: 1-877-247-7333.

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