‘Reduce your exposure’: Poor air quality alerts remain in place for most of Alberta Sunday

EDMONTON — Wildfire smoke continues to envelop Edmonton and most of Alberta Sunday, prompting an air quality statement from Environment Canada.

Edmonton’s air quality reached a week-high of 10 Saturday afternoon.

Environment Canada’s Air Quality Health Index considers a 7-10 to be “high risk” and encourages people to minimize their time outside.

The weather agency said Edmonton’s air quality was observed as an 8 Sunday morning and forecasted a value of 10 plus as the maximum value to be reached later in the day.

Calgary was observed to have a value of 10 Sunday morning and also expected to reach an air quality index of 10 plus overnight.

Air quality alerts were in place for most parts of the province Sunday except for northwest regions, including Grande Prairie, Beaverlodge, Peace River, High Level, and Fort Chipewyan.

“Air quality can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably hour by hour,” the air quality statement read. “Consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure.

“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.”

Environment Canada expects “very high” air quality values to be experienced throughout the province until mid-week, especially in central and northern regions.

Alberta Health Services suggests residents in areas of poor air quality due to smoke close all outside windows and doors, keep car windows and vents closed while driving and using fans on air re-circulate mode, avoid running fresh air ventilation systems that bring outdoor air inside a home, and turning furnace thermostats and furnace fans to the minimum setting.

Anyone experiencing symptoms due to the smoke can call 811 to speak to a registered nurse.

To see what parts of the province are under an air quality statement, visit Environment Canada’s website.

Century Downs in Calgary cancelled all live horse racing Sunday due to the poor air quality.

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