Post Apocalyptic: High Level smoke reaches east central Alberta

A large amount of smoke coming from northern Alberta blanketed most of the province on Thurs. May 30 including Stettler, Alta. seen here. ECA Review/T.Huxley

Nearly all of Alberta, aside from the southwestern corner and Lac La Biche-Cold Lake area, was under an air quality warning from Environment Canada on Thurs. May 30.

All of east-central Alberta has been included in this warning as conditions waver throughout the day.

Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas.

By 3 p.m., the area of smoke extended from northwestern Alberta through Whitecourt then towards Hanna and was slumping southwards.

In central and southern parts of the province, smoke is expected to move back north by Friday morning as the flow shifts to southeasterly.

Environment Canada noted that 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.

They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels.

Environment Canada has put an air quality advisory on the majority of the province (in grey) due to smoke coming from the High Level fires in northern Alberta. ECA Review/Environment Canada

Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

“Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned,” stated the advisory.

For more information please visit Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

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