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Poor air quality reported across Alberta as wildfire smoke lingers

A weekend of poor air quality resulting from wildfire smoke continued across Alberta on Labour Day, with virtually the entire province being advised to exercise caution amid the smoky conditions.

As of Monday morning, special air quality statements had been issued all over the province by Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations,” the weather agency said on its website. “Continue to take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke.

ECCC warned “smoke is causing or expected to cause poor air quality and reduced visibility” and noted the concentration of smoke can “fluctuate over short distances and vary considerably from hour to hour.”

As of 6 a.m. on Monday, Calgary had experienced 476 “smoky hours” in 2023, according to an employee at the weather agency, which added that this year has been the smokiest one on record for that city. The previous record for smoky hours in Calgary was 450, recorded in 2018.

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As of 8 a.m. on Monday, the Air Quality Health Index for Calgary was rated at 10+, or “very high risk.” At the same time of day, the air quality rating in Edmonton was at a 9, or “high risk.”

A view of smoky conditions in Edmonton resulting from wildfire smoke on Sept. 4, 2023. Global News Skytracker camera

Click here for information on air quality in Alberta.

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