Special Air Quality Statement (July 13, 2023)

Posted on July 13, 2023

A Special Air Quality Statement has been issued for much of Alberta and includes all communities within the Fort Air Partnership Airshed.

From the Government of Canada Environment and Natural Resources website: 

Smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility. Air quality and reduced visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.

Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Continue to take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke. People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms. Keep your indoor air clean. Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable. Use an air purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in a room where you spend a lot of time. Avoid air purifiers that produce ozone. Check the filter and change it if required.

For more information visit https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/using-portable-air-cleaner-wildfire-smoke.html.

Take a break from the smoke by temporarily relocating or finding a location in your community with clean, cool air such as a library, shopping mall or community centre. Contact your local health or municipal authorities for more information. If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms. Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke. Pay attention to information and direction from your local authorities and evacuate if told to do so. Review your wildfire smoke plan and make sure you have enough medical supplies if the smoke continues to impact your community. Contact your health care provider if your condition is not improving.

Be aware of your mental health. It is normal to feel anxious or isolated during a smoke event. If you experience any feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, contact your mental health care provider for advice or visit https://www.wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA.

For more information please visit Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/air.aspx.

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. Issued by Environment Canada, Alberta Environment and Parks, Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services.”

Wildfire smoke and summertime smog lead to higher Air Quality Health Index (AHQI) ratings from April to June 2023

Posted on July 11, 2023

From April through June 2023, Fort Air Partnership (FAP) recorded 12,716 hours of air monitoring data for use in calculating the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at seven stations in our Airshed.


Hours monitored

Low-risk AQHI

Moderate-risk AQHI

High-risk AQHI

Very-high risk AQHI






(All in hours)
  • 11,520 (or 78%) of the hours were low-risk AQHI. 
  • 2,485 (or 16.7%) of the hours were moderate-risk AQHI.
  • 778 (or 5.3%) of the hours were high or very high-risk AQHI.


Summary of Exceedances

There were 544 one-hour exceedances of the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQO) and 88 exceedances of the 24-hour objective in the second quarter of 2023.

The increased number of high and very-high-risk AQHI hours resulted from wildfire smoke and summertime smog in the FAP Airshed. Wildfire smoke increased the amount of fine particulate matter in our Airshed, especially from May 16-25 and June 8-14, but also on June 2-3 and June 16. Regional meteorological conditions (which led to smog formation) resulted in a 24-hour fine particulate matter exceedance on April 1.

There were 494 one-hour exceedances of fine particulate matter caused by wildfire smoke. There were also 46 one-hour exceedances of ozone levels caused by wildfire smoke and/or summertime smog, three one-hour exceedances of benzene with an undetermined source, and one one-hour exceedance of hydrogen sulphide with an undetermined source.

Air quality measurements are compared continuously to both one and 24-hour AAAQOs. An exceedance of an AAAQO is reported to the Alberta Government, and the likely cause of the exceedance is investigated.

For more details: April to June 2023 air monitoring report.