Central Albertans urged to take precautions as air quality deteriorates

The forest fire smoke that blanketed the Red Deer region on Monday is expected to have a choke-hold on Central Alberta for most of the week.

The forest fire smoke that blanketed the Red Deer region on Monday is expected to have a choke-hold on Central Alberta for most of the week.

Poor air quality advisories for the area were issued by Alberta Health Services, as well as Environment Canada, after gusts of smoke started blowing northward from Washington State.

Area residents are being warned that health problems can result from the deteriorating air quality. It was already rated a “high risk” on the health index on Monday night.

Central Albertans may experience temporary eye and throat irritation and shortness of breath from prolonged exposure to smoky air, said Dr. Deena Hinshaw, medical officer of health for Alberta’s Central Zone, stretching from south of Edmonton to Drumheller.

“We’re recommending to everybody that they reduce their exposure — but particularly those who are at higher risk,” she added.

The worst affects could be felt by those who are very young, very old, or who have pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses, such as angina, heart conditions, asthma or emphysema.

Everyone is cautioned to stay indoors as much as possible if air quality remains poor.

To reduce smoke in indoor environments:

l Windows and doors should be shut, thermostats turned down and furnace fans set to a minimum setting (don’t extinguish pilot lights).

l Fresh-air intakes on air-conditioners should be closed and filters cleaned.

l Residents should avoid running fans or ventilations systems that bring outdoors air inside.

l Floor air registers and fireplace dampers should be closed, and wood burning fireplaces and wood stoves should not be used.

l Car fans should be run on the recirculated air mode.

Alberta Health Services is also advising Central Albertans to reduce outdoor physical activities to keep from breathing in smoky air.

Anyone with concerns about health symptoms can call Health Link 811 to speak to a registered nurse.

The air quality advisories will stay in effect until further notice.

No short-term change is expected in the local weather forecast, so the forest fire smoke could stay in the region until Friday, said Environment Canada meteorologist Bill McMurtry.

Whether the haze remains high in the atmosphere or poses more danger by descending to street level is “hard to predict,” he added. This will depend on temperature, as well as where the highest concentrations of polluted air happen to be lingering.

Hotter weather will likely mean poorer air quality, since cooler, smoky air from above will descend to fill the space vacated by rising hot air.

“The day-time heating brings smoke down and (poor air quality) becomes more concentrated,” said McMurtry.

The latest air quality information can be found at www.airquality.alberta.ca or by calling 1-877-247-7333.

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Alberta energy war room must avoid online morass, preaching to choir: experts

CALGARY — Tzeporah Berman only learned of her cameo appearance at an… Continue reading

Two dead, including one who police believe was a child, in Alberta house fire

PLAMONDON, Alta. — Two people, including one who police believe was a… Continue reading

CSIS destroyed secret file on Pierre Trudeau, stunning historians

OTTAWA — Canada’s spy service destroyed a Cold War dossier on Pierre… Continue reading

Premier refuses to back down on plan to scrap 18,000 immigration applications

Quebec Premier Francois Legault is holding firm on his plan to scrap… Continue reading

Pro-pipelines rally draws crowd to City Hall

Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Canada missing out on billions in revenue

Federal cabinet decision on fate of Trans Mountain pipeline due Tuesday

OTTAWA — The Liberal government’s $4.5 billion gamble to buy the Trans… Continue reading

Skier, 22 dies after fall on Mount Haig near Castle Mountain Ski Resort

PINCHER CREEK, Alta. — RCMP from the Pincher Creek, Alta., detachment are… Continue reading

4 years in, Trump fondly recalls Trump Tower campaign launch

NEW YORK — It was the escalator ride that would change history.… Continue reading

Massive protests draw apology from Hong Kong leadership

Hong Kong citizens marched for hours Sunday in a massive protest that… Continue reading

Butterfly garden keeper manages to film large tarantula shedding exoskeleton

VICTORIA — A 20-centimetre tarantula capable of killing a bird has been… Continue reading

Telegraph-Journal wins 2018 Michener Award recognizing public-service journalism

OTTAWA — The Telegraph-Journal in New Brunswick has been named the winner… Continue reading

Victorious Raptors cancel their return to Toronto after becoming NBA champs

TORONTO — Some Raptors players returned to Toronto on Saturday night for… Continue reading

How a Montreal working-class neighbourhood’s activists changed Quebec and Canada

MONTREAL — The Pointe-St-Charles neighbourhood is isolated from the rest of Montreal… Continue reading

Most Read