Wildfire Smoke Leads to High and Very High AQHI Ratings in the Third Quarter of 2023 

Posted on October 20, 2023

From July through September 2023, the Fort Air Partnership Airshed (FAP) continued to experience increased numbers of high and very high Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) hourly ratings due mainly to wildfire smoke. The Airshed recorded 14,891 hours of air monitoring data for calculating the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at seven FAP stations.

  • 11,331 (or 76%) of the hours were low-risk AQHI. 
  • 2,317 (or 15.6%) of the hours were moderate-risk AQHI.
  • 1,243 (or 8.3%) of the hours were high or very high-risk AQHI.

The high and very high-risk AQHI ratings were mainly a result of elevated concentrations of PM2.5 due to wildfire smoke. Other attributed causes to the high or very high-risk AQHI ratings in Q3 included summertime smog, a structure fire, and agricultural operations.

There were 1283 exceedances of the 1-hr and 167 exceedances of the 24-hour Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQOs) in the third quarter of 2023.

The 1257 instances of 1-hour exceedances of the PM2.5  parameter during the third quarter of 2023 were far beyond the 1-hour PM2.5  exceedances recorded in the first and second quarters of 2023. The 1-hour PM2.5 exceedances in Q3 again were due almost entirely to wildfire smoke.

One-Hour Exceedances Summary for the Three Quarters of 2023
Parameter Q1 Q2 Q3










The risk to human health remained high, which prompted the release of the Special Air Quality Statement on Aug 25, 2023. Check here: