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Breaking News: Air Quality Health Index at Extreme Levels

Wildfire smoke from northeastern British Columbia is causing poor air quality across St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Sherwood Park, Fort Saskatchewan, Greater Edmonton, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County and Lamont County. 

Conditions are expected to improve overnight through Mother’s Day afternoon with air quality levels becoming better suited to outdoor activities. 

Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears. Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke.

Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable.

Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air.

If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing adverse symptoms.

If you can, avoid smoking or vaping indoors, burning incense and candles, frying foods, using wood stoves and vacuuming.

See airhealth.ca for current and forecast AQHI values for Greater Edmonton.

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