In Red Deer, the Air Quality Health Index was expected to hit 8 Monday afternoon, which is considered a high risk level. It was predicted to go down to 7 (high) by evening and 6 (moderate) on Tuesday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Special air quality statement issued for Red Deer, central Alberta

Smoke from a forest fire in northern British Columbia has moved into portions of northern and central Alberta, causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in smoke.

Environment Canada’s air quality health index indicated the air quality will cause a moderate to high risk on Saturday. The forecast indicates there will be a low risk to health on Sunday.

“Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour,” said Environment Canada in a 4 p.m. statement.

“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.”

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution, Environment Canada noted.

“They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.”

Those exposed to wildfire smoke are asked to consider taking extra precautions to reduce exposure.

“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.”

For more details, please consult

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