Special wildfire-related air quality statements in place for Calgary and most of Alberta

CALGARY — Western Canada is blanketed in a thick layer of wildfire smoke reducing visibility and prompting special air quality statements.

According to the Air Quality Health Index, Calgary’s air quality is rated at an eight as of Monday morning, which, on a scale of one to 10+, is considered high risk.

The heavy smoke in the air can cause those with respiratory health concerns to feel worse.

Wildfires are raging in British Columbia and, here in Alberta, fire officials continue to douse hot spots of a wildfire near Dead Man’s Flats on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway near Canmore.

The fire near Canmore is currently being held and is considered under control, but the blaze contributed to heavy smoke over the weekend since it ignited Friday evening.

The B.C. Wildfire Service says there are approximately 270 active wildfires burning in that province.

According to Environment Canada, the smoke pollution can cause increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

The smoke includes a mix of particles chemicals and gases in air that is considered harmful and its recommended that people limit their time outdoors.

The air quality in southern Alberta is expected to improve by Tuesday evening.

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