Environment Canada has released a special air quality statement concerning conditions for most of central Alberta.

“Due to the current weather conditions (the high-pressure ridge that is also impacting current extreme temperatures), Environment Canada anticipates increasing concentrations of pollutants affecting area quality throughout much of central Alberta.”

At 7 AM this morning, the Air Quality Health Index in Red Deer and Caroline were both sitting at 2, or low risk. Conditions are expected to worsen today and into the evening resulting in a maximum AQHI of 7, High Risk, at 6 PM for Red Deer. The AQHI for Caroline is not forecast although it is expected to be at similar levels.

At an AQHI of 7, at-risk populations such as those with long disease or those who work outside for extended periods of time, should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also take it easy. The general population should consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if one experiences symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

The AQHI in Red Deer and Caroline is determined from monitoring data collected by PAMZ and can be checked on the home page of the PAMZ website https://pamz.org/. Clicking on the link takes you to Alberta Environment & Parks AQHI forecasting tool. For more information about the AQHI visit https://www.alberta.ca/about-the-air-quality-health-index.aspx