Smoke in the air is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility for the Cochrane region. 

This has Environment Canada issuing a special air quality statement for Cochrane and the surrounding areas. 

As of Tuesday morning there are 87 wildfires burning in central and northern Alberta, and the smoke has made its way to our area.

Smoke from wildfires can be dangerous 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. Speak with your health care provider about developing a management plan for wildfire smoke events and maintaining a supply of necessary medications at home and always carrying these medications with you during wildfire season." reads a statement from Environment Canada. 

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases are especially at risk.  People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They 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.

Environment is recommending that if you have an HVAC system in your home, you should use the highest rated MERV filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly. It's also recommended to use a portable High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaner.

Cochranites are being advised to keep their doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable.

The good news is that the air quality is expected to improve by Wednesday.

Also included in the special statement is Airdrie, Olds and Sundre.