Air quality in Edmonton region expected to improve immensely Thursday as wildfire smoke dissipates, special air quality statement remains in effect

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Edmontonians can soon expect to see clearer and breathe easier as wildfire smoke in the region is set to dissipate in the coming days.

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A special air quality statement remained in effect Tuesday with the health index expected to reach a high risk of seven overnight into Wednesday. But during the day the health index is set to drop to five, considered a moderate risk, and then down to a low risk of one on Thursday.

The Edmonton region has been under an air quality warning issued by Environment Canada as of last Thursday due to wildfire smoke wafting into the region from British Columbia.

Edmonton’s extreme weather protocol remains in effect during the poor air quality to provide a place of respite during the day at most city facilities for vulnerable residents. The protocol was initially activated for the heat wave which ended earlier this week.

People with heart and lung conditions are most affected by air pollution and residents are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities when the air quality is poor. Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches and shortness of breath.

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As a result of the poor air quality, many outdoor activities were modified and the city closed outdoor pools, the city hall fountain and the Green Shack program between Saturday and Monday and is making future decisions on a day-by-day basis based on real-time smoke and the forecasted air quality health index. Many sporting events, including games with the Edmonton Minor Soccer Association, were cancelled Monday and outdoor camps in the city were moved indoors.

With the smoke expected to dissipate Thursday, the temperature is anticipated to reach a high of 21 C with a mix of sun and cloud and a 30 per cent chance of showers.

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