Wildfire smoke continues to cause poor air quality in Red Deer and Central Alberta.
Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement on Monday, stating that the smoke is causing, or expected to cause, poor air quality and reduced visibility.
The Air Quality Health Index indicated there was a “high risk” in Red Deer on Monday. The index indicated poor air quality is expected to continue on Tuesday.
“Wildfire smoke concentrations can fluctuate over short distances and vary considerably from hour to hour,” said Environment Canada’s statement.
“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Continue to take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke.”
People with lung disease, such as asthma, or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors face a higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.
“Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms,” said Environment Canada.
People are encouraged to keep their indoor air clean.
“Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable. Use an air purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in a room where you spend a lot of time. Avoid air purifiers that produce ozone. Check the filter and change it if required.
“Take a break from the smoke by temporarily relocating or finding a location in your community with clean, cool air such as a library, shopping mall or community centre. Contact your local health or municipal authorities for more information.”
Environment Canada suggests people who must spend time outdoors wear a well-fitted respirator-type mask to help reduce exposure to the fine particles in smoke.
“These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms.”