The second you step outside or open your windows, you’re going to smell it: Smoke.
Because of the wildfires burning in British Columbia and Banff, Calgary smells incredibly smoky today.
There is a special air quality statement in effect today from Environment Canada.
“Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.
Smoke from forest fires in the vicinity of Banff National Park and central British Columbia is causing elevated values of the Air Quality Health Index across part of southern Alberta this morning. Air Quality is expected to improve from north to south today however areas closer to the foothills may see elevated AQHI values persist.
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.”
Alberta Health Services has also issued an air-quality advisory. Learn more from Global News Calgary HERE.
- 1-3 = Low Risk
- 4-6 = Moderate Risk
- 7-10 = High Risk
- 10+ = Very High Risk
Check out an easy-to-read graph HERE on what the numbers mean for the general population and at-risk population.
Other tips from Environment Canada about how to stay healthy during the smoke:
- Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties;
- Find an indoor place that’s cool, 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.
If you’re experiencing symptoms or are feeling unwell, you can call Health Link at 811 to speak to a registered nurse.
You may remember that back in the summer of 2015, the air in the city was also incredibly smoky, thick and stinky. (I remember driving from the northwest to the southwest with my son. By the time we got to our destination, we both felt quite sick.) There was one day at the end of August when the Air Quality Health Index was a +28 (on a scale of 1-10). It turned out the insane spike was because of a spider living in the system and the our number was actually a 4.
Remember that? Check out the story HERE. – Sarah