Wildfire smoke reduces air quality in Sylvan Lake

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement Thursday morning for Central Alberta

Smoke from the wildfires in northern Alberta is causing the air quality in Sylvan Lake to drop.

Environment Canada says the smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the area.

The air quality statement released by Environment Canada, just after 8 a.m. Thursday morning, says individuals in the effected area may experience coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath as a result of the reduced air quality.

“Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help,” a press release from Environment Canada states.

Residents are urged to keep windows closed to keep the smoky air outside.

Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk during times of reduced air quality, according to Environment Canada.

Alberta Health Services recommends keeping furnace thermostats and fans at a minimal setting to prevent the smoke from outside getting inside.

Residents with air conditioners are also encouraged to keep the fresh-air intake closed during times of reduced air quality.

The Weather Network expects poor air quality to be a regular experience this summer. When the company released its Summer Forecast on May 27, it came with the warning to expect smokey skies in Alberta.

With dry conditions expected in British Columbia and northern Alberta, The Weather Network says poor air quality resulting from smoke will continue on and off throughout the next couple months.

The current air quality alert is expected to end by the weekend.

“In central parts of the province smoke is expected to move back north by Friday morning as the flow shifts to southeasterly,” Environment Canada says.

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