Wildfire smoke has prompted Alberta Health Services to issue a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire province of Alberta.

Residents and visitors should be aware of potential cardiovascular and respiratory health risks associated with the smoky air conditions, shares Dr. Jason Cabaj with Alberta Health Services. "There is a range of health effects related to air pollution most commonly respiratory/cardiovascular illness worsening for people with pre-existing conditions. We know when there are periods of poor air quality there can also be some additional mortalities or deaths related to air quality and so it's important for people to think about the risks with both short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution."

The air quality health index is considered to be in the moderate range and while minor smoky conditions are generally not worrisome for healthy individuals if you are considered to be amongst the at-risk population, you may want to modify your activity if experiencing symptoms.

Dr. Cabaj says infants/young children, older adults and those with heart and breathing issues should be more careful and monitor their symptoms accordingly. "The messaging is a bit more conservative for people in those cases but currently the air quality, even with all the haze in the air, isn't at the level that we would really recommend people to change what they are doing because of the importance of activity and exercise."

Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.

If you can taste and/or smell smoke in the air:

  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Minimize physical activity outdoors.
  • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed.
  • If you drive to another location, keep windows and vents closed. Run your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.

If you are experiencing symptoms you are advised to call your physician or Health Link at 811 and speak to a registered nurse.

The Air Quality is listed as a five to a maximum of six currently (August 9) on the health index scale for the Calgary area.

Alberta Health Services will keep the public updated if conditions worsen and this advisory will remain in effect until further notice. If you are considered to be in the at-risk category, you may want to monitor the air quality conditions more closely and that information can be found HERE.

More Local News

Breaking Out the Birthday Cake at Bearspaw Bench Exhibition

If they were using candles, organizers would have their hands full trying to light 50 of them for the birthday cake they'll be serving at this weekend's Bearspaw Bench Exhibition being held in…

VIDEO: No Greater Love Festival Rocked Cochrane

There was certainly love in the air at last weekend's (August 11 and 12) two-day Christian music festival. Despite the chilly weather, 'No Greater Love' saw roughly 5000 people come out to enjoy…

Bucking Horse Talent Uncovered at Tonight's Futurity

While riders are the main focus of many rodeo events, tonight's 7th annual Foothills Bucking Horse Futurity is all about emerging bucking stock. Futurity competitions not only give insight into the…

Art and Music Come Together at McDougall Mission on Saturday

Artists have embraced the idea of helping preserve the history of the McDougall Stoney Mission Church in a unique way by incorporating charcoal from the burned church into their creations. Some of…

Victim, Shooter Were Driving Eastbound; Tip Line Established

The German tourist shot on Hwy. 1A on Aug. 2 was actually travelling eastbound, not westbound as first believed, and made two brief detours just prior to being shot in the head by a passing motorist…

Many Perfect Moments on Goodship's Cycling Journey

A voyage of spiritual and personal discovery for Rev. Ray Goodship, of the St. Andrew's United Church, is nearing the end. Within a few weeks, he'll be dipping his bike into the waters of the harbour…

VIDEO: Thrills, Spills and First Responders

The 36th annual Calgary Police Rodeo was a smashing success with a record number of attendees and participants. Running two heats of most events, Mike Cavilla, President of the Calgary Police Rodeo…

This Weekend the Bulls are Back in Town

If you are looking for more rodeo action, you will want to take in Cochrane Classic Bull Riding this Saturday night (August 18). For 18 years, the meanest, rankest bulls have put the world's top bull…

Air Quality Health Index Expected to Reach Extreme

Smoke from British Columbia forest fires will continue to put air quality health index at an extremely high level in Cochrane and area and those having difficulty breathing are recommended to find an…

Canadian Families are Feeling the Tax Burden

A new report from the Fraser Institute is not showing good numbers when it comes to comparing income and taxes. According to the report, the average Canadian family pays 43 per cent of their annual…

CochraneNow.com is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login