Air quality advisory in effect for Central Alberta

An air quality advisory is in effect for Central Zone until further notice.

An air quality advisory is in effect for Central Zone until further notice.

Wildfires in Northern Alberta are expected to cause variable air quality across Central Alberta, over the coming days, and potentially, weeks, Alberta Health Services said in a statement.

It is a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire zone. The air quality health index showed the Red Deer area as low-risk on Friday morning.

The index ranges from low risk (ideal air quality for outdoor activities) to very high risk (avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion).

Alberta Health Services is advising people to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoke in the air.

“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,” said the statement.

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 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, AHS said.

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

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated regularly on the government of Alberta’s air quality website: airquality.alberta.ca. Air quality information is also available by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-247-7333.

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