Special air quality statement in effect for:

Co. of Grande Prairie near Beaverlodge Hythe and Demmitt
Co. of Grande Prairie near Grande Prairie and Wembley
Co. of Grande Prairie near Sexsmith and La Glace
M.D. of Greenview near DeBolt
M.D. of Greenview near Little Smoky
M.D. of Greenview near O'Brien Prov. Park and Big Mtn Creek
M.D. of Greenview near Sturgeon Lake
M.D. of Greenview near Valleyview and New Fish Creek
M.D. of Greenview near Wapiti and Shuttler Flats Rec. Area

Wildfire smoke is causing locally poor air quality and reducing visibility. Conditions are expected to slowly improve from Friday afternoon, beginning over northern Alberta, as a cold front begins to slide though the area.

During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

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. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.