According to the annual air quality report by Fort Air Partnership, 2023 saw significantly more high-risk air quality than the years before.
The number of high-risk and very high-risk air quality ratings were higher than the previous four years. Experts believe that wildfire smoke was the most frequent contributor of poor air quality in the area.
Compared to previous years, there were 16 times more high risk air quality than in 2022, and about 6 times higher than in 2021.
Throughout the entire year, there were 1517 hours of high-risk air quality, and 614 hours of very high-risk air quality. These hours were apread across Fort Air Partnerships monitoring stations. Compare this to 2022 where there were only 119 hours of high-risk air, and 14 hours of very high-risk air.
When there wasn’t high-risk air quality, there was mainly low-risk air quality. In 2023, there was low-risk air quality reported 86 per cent of the time.
Wildfire smoke plagued the province throughout the year, with Spring of 2023 coming quickly, brining hot air and dry weather to the province, leading to over a thousand wildfires throughout Alberta.