Alberta and British Columbia: poor air quality due to wildfires

MONTREAL — A special poor air quality bulletin was issued Monday morning by Environment Canada for eastern British Columbia and most parts of Alberta.

The smoke from uncontrolled forest fires reduces the air quality with a high proportion of fine dust and reduces visibility, the agency explains. Smoke from fires can alter air quality and visibility over short distances and vary significantly from hour to hour.

The agency adds that smoke from wildfires is an ever-changing mix of particles and gases that contains many chemicals that can pose health risks.

Environment Canada reports that possible symptoms include an unusual cough, sore throat, headache and shortness of breath. Children, the elderly, and people with cardiovascular or lung conditions such as asthma are at higher risk.

People with lung diseases can be particularly vulnerable to air pollution.

As of early Monday evening, authorities listed 152 active wildfires in British Columbia burning at least 0.01 hectares. Alberta reported 47 active fires.

Darren Pena

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