Smoke wafts into Alberta

Wildfires burning in British Columbia have been causing smoky conditions in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Alberta Health Services issued precautionary air-quality advisories for its north and Calgary zones on Sunday, and in its Edmonton and Central zones last week.

David Strong, medical health officer for the health agency's Calgary zone, said all parts of Alberta should be aware of potential health risks from the haze.

"We pretty much have a provincewide precautionary air advisory, because there's no predicting where that smoke is going to go to," he said Monday.

"I think right now Calgary area's got the worst in terms of the air quality, but it's going to fluctuate."

The smell of smoke was thick in the air in Calgary on Monday morning, but it seemed to dissipate by mid-day.

Strong said particulates can get deep into the lungs, which can worsen asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and other chronic conditions.

Even healthy people — particularly if they are physically active outdoors — can experience nasal, eye and throat irritation along with shortness of breath and coughing.

The health agency was also advising people to keep windows and doors closed.

Environment Canada also issued special air-quality statements for much of southwestern Saskatchewan.

It said children, seniors, and people with cardiovascular or lung diseases were especially at risk.

More than a dozen of the more than 160 wildfires in central and southern B.C. were threatening communities Monday.

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