Gordon Gore file photo

Hot and smoky conditions in Central Alberta

AHS and Environment Canada issue air quality advisories

It’s hot and smoky.

Alberta Health Services issued a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire province including Red Deer and Central Alberta Wednesday.

Air quality is expected to be variable across Alberta over the coming days due to wildfire smoke, AHS website states.

The air quality health index for Red Deer was at moderate risk Thursday morning.

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

Environment Canada issued yet another heat warning and a special air quality statement for Central Alberta early Thursday. Residents in Red Deer, County of Stettler, Lacombe County, Flagstaff County, Ponoka County and Red Deer County can expect maximum daily temperatures reaching or exceeding 29 C and minimum overnight temperatures of 14 C or above. These temperatures are expected to last until Friday.

See related: Red Deer may reach close to 36 C Friday

Heat Warnings are issued when very high temperature conditions are expected to pose an elevated risk of heat illnesses, such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility, environment Canada website states. During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

Residents who may experience breathing difficulties are asked to stay indoors. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated, Environment Canada website recommends. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels.

Those looking to speak with someone can talk to a registered nurse by calling Health Link toll-free at 811, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Read more: Fire ban issued for Red Deer


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