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Wildfire smoke continues to impact Grande Prairie air quality

Wildfire smoke continues to blanket much of the Peace Country. The smoke from hundreds of wildfires burning across British Columbia has been making its way to the region over the past few days and is expected to continue for at least a few more.

Alberta Health Services issued a precautionary air quality advisory for the entire province Wednesday, warning Albertans about the potential health concerns that can be associated with smoky air conditions.

“Although minor smoke conditions do not typically cause health concerns in healthy individuals, if smoke conditions become more severe, even healthy individuals may experience temporary irritation of eyes and throat, and possibly shortness of breath.”

A special air quality statement from Environment Canada is also still in effect for the Grande Prairie – Beaverlodge – Valleyview region. The Air Quality Health Index for Grande Prairie reached 7 or a high risk Thursday morning. As of 12 p.m. it was 5, or moderate, while Rycroft is at a 7 and Beaverlodge at 5.

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Fire advisories are still in place for both the Grande Prairie Forest Area and the County of Grande Prairie due to the hot and dry conditions and the heavy smoke causing low visibility. No new permits for heavy or non-essential burning will be issued until further notice.

The smoke forecast over the Peace Country as of 12 p.m. on August 9, 2018,
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