Early fall would clear smoke from Central Alberta skies

An early fall is what Albertans need for smoke-free skies, according to Environment Canada. Smoke has been streaming into Southern and Central Alberta from Washington State and a few fires in Southern British Columbia for about five days and will likely continue for another month as the wait continues for precipitation to douse the flames.

An early fall is what Albertans need for smoke-free skies, according to Environment Canada.

Smoke has been streaming into Southern and Central Alberta from Washington State and a few fires in Southern British Columbia for about five days and will likely continue for another month as the wait continues for precipitation to douse the flames.

Brian Proctor, warning preparedness meteorologist, said September is generally dry, but seasonal transition could occur to bring about fall precipitation.

“It can happen in September. It more typically happens in October. So what I’m suggesting is we have the potential to be plagued with smoke for much of September,” Proctor said on Friday.

He said by Sunday the Red Deer area should improve due to a cold front off the B.C. coast moving inland and crossing west central Alberta.

But that won’t be enough to solve the problem, he said.

“What really has to happen is fall has to get here for (firefighters) to start to get a handle on things and some decent amount of moisture onto those fires. For that to happen, we have to slot ourselves into the pattern none of us want to talk about at this time of year where we start looking at some rain and potentially some snowfall.”

The air quality health index on Friday was forecast to reach a maximum of eight on a scale of 10 in the Red Deer area.

A score between seven and 10 is considered a high health risk. At 5 p.m. the health risk hit four, or moderate.

Proctor said within the large-scale smoke plumes very strong, localized concentrations can occur.

“There can be variations in smoke concentration just like there can be variations in temperature distribution across a community,” Proctor said.

On Aug. 24, Central Zone of Alberta Health Services issued air quality advisory. Residents were warned that they could experience temporary eye and throat irritation and shortness of breath from prolonged exposure to smoky air.

The very young, very old, or those with pre-existing respiratory or cardiovascular illnesses, such as angina, heart conditions, asthma or emphysema, were at higher risk for complications.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, medical officer of health for AHS Central Zone, said the advisory will remain in effect until air quality improves based on current conditions and the forecast.

During the week Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre emergency department did not see a significant increase in the number of patients with respiratory conditions.

“Our hope is by providing advice we’re preventing serious illness in people who would be the most sensitive to those impacts,” Hinshaw said.

Air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated regularly on the Alberta Environment and Parks at www.airquality.alberta.ca. Air quality information is also available toll-free at 1-877-247-7333.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health worker holds up a dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19 in Rome, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Cecilia Fabiano/LaPresse via AP
Health Canada approves AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

Canada has pre-ordered 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine

A fallen Western Red cedar tree at Francis/King Regional Park in Saanich, B.C., Thursday, May 26, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Logging delay agreement for B.C. old-growth tree stand helps endangered spotted owls

Deal announced to hold off logging watershed for a year

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

Nurses episode, titled “Achilles Heel” was first aired on Global in February 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Global pulls ‘Nurses’ episode after scene with Orthodox Jews deemed anti-Semitic

TORONTO — Global TV says it has pulled an episode of Toronto-set… Continue reading

Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two French bulldogs. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Lady Gaga’s dog walker shot, French bulldogs stolen in LA

Dog walker expected to survive injuries

Calgary Flames defenceman Mark Giordano tries to help goaltender David Rittich stop a shot from Ottawa Senators right wing Drake Batherson during first-period NHL action Thursday, February 25, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Colin White scores two goals to lead Ottawa Senators to a 6-1 win over Calgary Flames

Commander of the Royal Canadian Navy Vice-Admiral Art McDonald is seen during an interview with The Canadian Press in Ottawa, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Military reeling as new defence chief steps aside amid allegations of misconduct

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

‘Black box’ in Woods SUV could yield clues to cause of wreck

Team Saskatchewan skip Sherry Anderson reacts to her shot against Team Quebec at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

Peterson’s wild-card team edges N.W.T. skip Galusha to qualify for championship pool

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

No-size-fits-all residence approach a reality for Canadian Hockey League teams

Most Read