Special air quality statement in effect for Edmonton area
Wildfires are to blame for the smell of smoke and hazy weather in the Edmonton area Thursday, according to a special air quality statement issued by Environment Canada.
The Air Quality Health Index was at a moderate risk level of 4 for Edmonton as of 9 a.m. But by 10:21 a.m., Environment Canada predicted the risk level could reach 8 — considered high risk on the index.
When the air quality index goes above 7, Environment Canada suggests reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities, especially for children and seniors or those experiencing a cough or irritated throat.
Wildfire smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility, the statement said.
It is also "a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health," it said.
In Alberta, there are currently 14 out-of-control wildfires, 37 that are being held and 41 that are under control.
Alberta Transportation warns one wildfire near the highway north of Janvier, a hamlet in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, was causing poor visibility due to smoke Wednesday evening.
The weather agency expects the smoke to remain into Friday night.
The Edmonton area was also under a heat warning Thursday, with daytime high temperatures near 30 C.