AHS has issued a precautionary air quality advisory for central Alberta due to the wildfires in BC. Residents are advised to monitor the situation and their symptoms in the next few days. This photo was taken in Cache Creek. Photo by Andrea Bona

AHS issues precautionary air quality advisory due to BC wildfires

Due to wildfires burning in BC, air quality may be affected in central Alberta

Alberta Health Services has issued a precautionary air quality advisory for central Alberta due to the wildfires in British Columbia.

The announcement came July 10 with AHS stating residents should watch out for smoky conditions in the next few days.

“Residents of, and visitors to, the Central Zone of AHS, are advised to be aware of air conditions and take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.”

AHS adds that minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, however, there is a chance of irritation of the eyes and throat, plus shortness of breath, if conditions become more severe.

AHS advises these steps:

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.

“Individuals with respiratory conditions (such as COPD and asthma), and individuals with existing cardiovascular conditions (such as angina, previous heart attack and congestive heart failure), may notice a worsening of symptoms in smoky air conditions. These individuals should monitor for worsening of symptoms and take the precautions routinely recommended by their physicians if a worsening of symptoms occurs.”

People can also call Health Link 24 hours a day toll free at 811.

“Air quality can and will vary with weather conditions and prevailing winds. Because air quality is expected to be variable, this advisory will remain in effect until further notice.”

Information about the air quality in many areas of Alberta is updated hourly on the Alberta Environment Air Quality Website: http://airquality.alberta.ca. Air quality information is also available by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-247-7333.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than 4 million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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