SMOKY SKIES - Much of Central Alberta saw smoky skies on Sunday afternoon. Erin Fawcett/Red Deer Express

Winds bring B.C. forest fire smoke to Red Deer

Special air quality statement issued by Environment Canada

A special Air Quality Statement was issued by Environment Canada on Sunday evening as winds brought in smoke from B.C.

Smoke from forest fires moved into Central Alberta late Sunday afternoon. Poor air quality and reduced visibility has resulted from the smoke.

According to the warning, “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.

“If your home is not air-conditioned, be sure the house doesn’t get too warm when doors and windows are closed to keep out smoke. Exposure to too much heat can also result in illness.”

The statement went on to say, “In general, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event. In fact, masks may lead to a false sense of security, which may encourage increased physical activity and time spent outdoors, meaning increased exposure to smoke. They can also make breathing more difficult.”

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

Smoke is expected to clear out by late Sunday evening.

– Fawcett

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