Hwy. 12 westbound, heading to Stettler shows the poor air quality that the province has been experiencing due to the B.C. fires. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

Air quality a concern due to B.C. wildfires

The health risk AQHI of Red Deer and area will be deteriorating from low to moderate tomorrow.

Earlier in the week, the Government of Alberta had issued a statement cautioning people that air quality across the province could be affected by the wildfires in B.C.

As of now Red Deer and area has a health risk Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) of 3, which is considered to be low, but it will worsen tomorrow and be 4, which is moderate according to the Environment Canada forecast.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) had also issued advisories for all zones saying that air quality is expected to vary for the coming days and, potentially, weeks.

The province is encouraging residents of, and visitors to, Alberta to be aware of air conditions and to take precautions against potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air.

The Alberta government is also advising people to make financial donations to a recognized non-profit organization of their choice instead of providing material donations.

How Albertans can help

Albertans can help the people affected by the fires in B.C. with a financial donation to the British Columbia Fires Appeal.

The Red Cross gratefully accepts donations from generous Canadians wishing to help. People can donate to the British Columbia Fires Appeal in one of the following ways:

– online at www.redcross.ca

– by calling 1-800-418-1111

– by texting FIRES or FEUX to 45678

– by contacting their local Canadian Red Cross office

Travel information

At this time, all highways into B.C. from Alberta are open to travel, but this could change as the wildfire situation progresses.

For up-to-date travel information, please check 511 Alberta and “know before you go.”

Albertans planning to travel to B.C. are advised to monitor @DriveBC and @EmergencyInfoBC for up-to-date information on road closures and traffic impacts.

Fire restrictions in Alberta

After a prolonged period of hot, dry weather, a fire restriction has been put in place in the forested parts of Alberta south of Highway 532.

Campfires within campgrounds in designated fire rings in this area are still permitted. Gas or propane stoves/barbecues and portable propane fire pits are also allowed.

The best way for Albertans to find out if there is a fire ban, restriction or advisory in their area is to visit AlbertaFireBans.ca

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