The apocalypse is back: Air quality advisory in effect as wildfire smoke blankets city – Edmonton Journal

\The apocalypse is back\: Air quality advisory in effect as wildfire smoke blankets city - Edmonton Journal
Special air quality statements issued in Edmonton, much of Alberta due to wildfire smoke
“Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas.”

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019. Ian Kucerak / Postmedia

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution and will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Smoke could linger in Calgary until next week

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Edmonton and much of central, north Alberta.

Those with difficulty breathing are advised to stay indoors. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. The weather agency suggests if your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

“Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas,” the statement reads. “In central parts of the province smoke is expected to move back north by Friday morning as the flow shifts to southeasterly.

“Principals will use this guideline to make the best decisions for the health and safety of their students,” EPS spokeswoman Megan Normandeau said in a statement. “With today’s air quality warning, a number of our schools have decided to have indoor recess.

“Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.”

In the High Level area, about 5,000 people have been out of their homes for more than a week because of a raging fire that won’t stop growing. It stood at 1,500 square kilometres on Wednesday, but crews have managed to keep the flames out of the town.

Wildfire smoke has forced the Edmonton Eskimos to moved their outdoor practice today inside to the Commonwealth Field House.

“The danger to High Level remains, and the danger to communities in Mackenzie County and the Dene Tha’ First Nation has increased. Four more areas were evacuated … More than 600 of our neighbours had to leave their homes.”

Alberta Health Services is advising people to take precautions to minimize the health risk posed by the wildfire smoke.

Environment Canada said some people may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath due to the smoke. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

“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.”

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

“This administrative regulation also applies to field trips where students will be outside for an extended period of time. We do know a number of district schools did cancel field trips today due to the poor air quality.”

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Calgary’s air quality was ranked at 3, or low risk, on the Air Quality Health Index as of 7 a.m., but was expected to hit 6 or higher, or moderate risk, before the end of the day.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Kulak said the effects of the wildfires could dissipate in southern Alberta later on Thursday, but that smoke was expected to linger for at least another four to five days.

A view from Forest Heights Park of Edmonton as forest fire smoke leads to an air quality warning on May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

“Every year’s got its own personality,” said Kulak, commenting on how unusual it is for smoke to fill the skies this early in the season.

An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

An air quality advisory is in effect for the Edmonton region as smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.   Larry Wong /POSTMEDIA NETWORK

Wildfire smoke is seen in the air in downtown near Edmonton House as an Environment Canada air quality warning is issued in Edmonton, on Thursday, May 30, 2019.   Ian Kucerak /Postmedia

Today: Mainly sunny. Widespread smoke. Wind becoming north 20 km/h gusting to 40 this morning. High 26. UV index 8 or very high.

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Tonight: Clear. Becoming partly cloudy this evening. Local smoke. Wind north 20 km/h becoming light this evening. Low 11.

Really incredible (NOT in a good way) what #YEG looks like right now (just before Noon, Thu, 30 May). Getting darker!! Very #smoky smell. #OrangeSky Are we on #Mars? #wildfires #ABwildfires pic.twitter.com/NZhdMuSlXm

I cant believe how dark its getting outside here in #Edmonton #yeg smoke from #ABfire #ABwildfire .. thoughts and prayers are with evacuees in Northern AB pic.twitter.com/aNeplTF0Xg

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement on Thursday morning for Edmonton, St. Albert and Sherwood Park. 

Good thing I quit smoking. I just have to go outside and breath in the air for my fix now. Beer in my basement tonight if anyone wants to escape this horrible air quality. (Ps. Bring beer)#Yeg #smokyAlberta pic.twitter.com/wXGwCvG0cO

Environment Canada recommends that people who have trouble breathing stay inside, somewhere cool and ventilated. 

Felt like I walked outside and onto a different planet today😮. The skies are an eerie orange:( #Prayforrain #ABfire #yeg pic.twitter.com/5kH9wqAVgp

Here's an interesting look at the wildfire smoke in Edmonton from the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) at the University of Alberta. The cameras record and store visual weather and river conditions every 15 minutes.#yeg #ABFire pic.twitter.com/8nYE7QoogC

Standing outside with Sophie + while the air quality is smokey and poor, Im 99% sure ash is is falling? Light, small flakes. Could this be @joshclassenCTV or @jessebeyerWX ? #yegwx pic.twitter.com/dCMtNmU3KI

Also, careful out there #yeg weather advisory due to the smoke in the area. pic.twitter.com/NaqkGi5XvY

#yeg the colour of the sun changed it might be the fire 🔥 up North off course it smells smoky 😞 pic.twitter.com/QYNLEAn8x3

Summer time….and your breathing is wheezy.🎶 Trees are burning, and the air quality index is high 🎶 Can't see the sun, but your uncle still thinks climate change ain't real🎶 #yeg #abfire #yegwx

Edmonton used to have four seasons: winter, more winter, less winter, construction. Now it has six: winter, less winter, spring (max 3 days), construction, smoke, winter again. #yegwx #yeg pic.twitter.com/9vFy8rlT35

Crazy smoky morning in #Yeg My thoughts are with everyone affected today. #staysafe #wildfire #smoke #iphoneography pic.twitter.com/DS3XnwrtuL