Health advisory issued due to smoke from prescribed burn

A forest fire west of Calgary is causing a smoky haze over the city and surrounding communities, resulting in officials issuing a health advisory.

CALGARY — A forest fire west of Calgary is causing a smoky haze over the city and surrounding communities, resulting in officials issuing a health advisory.

The smoke started drifting in Tuesday from a controlled burn in the Kananaskis area.

Parks Canada and provincial employees are torching about nine square kilometres of forest near Mount Nestor.

The fires are being done to help prevent wildfires and target the pine beetle.

Parks Canada says that certain conditions must be in place for this type of burn and they look for high temperatures, a low relative humidity and favourable winds.

The smoke is affecting people with respiratory conditions and Alberta Health Services has issued a fire smoke health advisory.

AHS says that the burn is not expected to significantly impact local air quality, but people who are affected should monitor their symptoms, consider going inside, shut the windows, and turn on the air conditioning if possible. Health experts say people with heart and lung conditions may be especially sensitive to the smoke.

“Less than perfect air is not good for your health,” said Tony Hudson of the Alberta Lung Association.

“Prescribed burns are there to prevent future wildfires but it is a challenge for people with lung diseases.”

The advisory covers the communities of Banff, Bragg Creek, Calgary, Canmore, Cochrane and Springbank.

The advisory will be in effect until Saturday.

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