Another day, another forecast of haze and smoke.
Because of the wildfires burning in British Columbia, Kootenay and Banff, Calgary could smell smoky off-and-on for the next few days – even weeks.
It’s easy to check what the city’s air quality is going to be like each day: Alberta Environment and Parks updates the numbers hourly for the Air Quality Health Index.
The Air Quality Health Index rates the city’s air between 1-10.
- 1-3 = Low Risk
- 4-6 = Moderate Risk
- 7-10 = High Risk
- 10+ = Very High Risk
Today – Thurs., July 20 – the numbers are predicted to fluctuate between a 4 early in the day to a 7 later today. Tonight, we drop back to a 5.
Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for today:
“Due to the smoke, the AQHI could reach near 8-10, or very high risk, in parts of western and central Alberta today. The thickest smoke is in a corridor from Hinton to Edmonton to Red Deer.”
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