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Air quality statement issued for most of Alberta as Calgary breaks record for smoke hours in a single year

A special air quality statement was issued for Calgary and Edmonton Sunday just after 10 a.m. Sunday.

It advised residents that “Smoke is causing or expected to cause poor air quality and reduced visibility.”

It added that wildfire smoke concentrations fluctuate over short distances and may vary from hour to hour.

It advised people to stop outdoor activities if you or someone in your care experiences adverse physical reactions, such as shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, dizziness or chest pains.

And according to Environment Canada, Calgary has now broken a new record for the number of smoke hours recorded in a single year.

As of Sunday afternoon, the city is at 453 hours in 2023 where smoke has kept visibility at below 10 kilometres.

That smashes the 2018 record of 450 hours and the 2021 mark of 439 hours.

The air quality index also predicts that Calgary will hit “10 plus” later Sunday evening, which is high risk.

Smoky skies are expected to continue through Monday nightr.

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