Air quality in southern Alberta expected to worsen as more smoke blows in

Special air quality statements have been issued for parts of southern Alberta as smoke from wildfires in B.C. continues to blow into the province, causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Environment Canada issued the statements Friday morning for the following regions:

  • Airdrie, Cochrane, Olds and Sundre.
  • Banff National Park.
  • City of Calgary.
  • Crowsnest Pass, Pincher Creek and Waterton Lakes National Park.
  • Kananaskis and Canmore.
  • Nordegg and Forestry Trunk Road Highway 734.
  • Okotoks, High River and Claresholm.

The agency says people may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath from wildfire smoke.

A look at the smoke forecast for Calgary starting at midnight on Friday. (firesmoke.ca)

Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease can be more sensitive to poor air quality.

“If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure,” read the statements.

There are 277 wildfires burning in B.C., the majority of which are in the southern part of the province.

Scientists say extreme weather events like heat waves and storms are becoming more frequent as a result of climate change, which increases wildfire risk as forests dry out and many fires are ignited by lightning strikes.

For a full list of current warnings from Environment Canada, click here.

Calgary Region Airshed Zone (CRAZ) recently started expanding their network by installing smaller monitors dedicated to monitoring hazardous particles in the air. 2:23

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