Special air quality statements lifted for much of Alberta as wildfire smoke dissipates

A reprieve from smoky skies arrived for most Albertans Monday night.

Just after 9:30 p.m., Environment Canada ended a special air quality statement for much of the province which was originally issued Saturday because of smoke from ongoing wildfires.

Read more: Wildfire forces closure of B.C.’s Coquihalla Highway between Hope and Merritt

Albertans were warned the smoke and poor air quality can cause people to suffer from throat irritation, coughing, headaches or shortness of breath.

Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

Global News Calgary Weather Anchor Paul Dunphy said much-needed rain helped wash away the smoke.

“When it stops, the air quality might worsen again but we expect a northeast wind Tuesday so that could help to keep the smoke at bay when the rain ends. Right now it looks like the rain will come to an end early Wednesday morning.”
But warnings remained in place for the far southwest parts of the province, including Banff, Kananaskis, Canmore, Okotoks, High River, the Crowsnest Pass area as well as Cardston and Fort Macleod.

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In Calgary, air quality was so poor on Monday that the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders cancelled outdoor practice.

Kyle Fougère, meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said this is the second smokiest summer on record in the Calgary area.

“There have been 417 hours of smoky conditions in Calgary. The only summer worse is 2018, with 450 hours recorded. Because we have several weeks of summer to go, it’s possible we could break that record this year.”

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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