UPDATE – 9:45AM, FRIDAY, MAY 6, 2016

May 6, 2016

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) remains in the HIGH RISK category for the Fort McMurray area. As of 9pm yesterday evening, power was lost to the Anzac air monitioring station. The station is no longer reporting air quality data. We continue to closely monitor data from WBEA’s operating stations. Data from WBEA air monitoring stations is available in real-time on WBEA’s website.

The following bulleted info was provided to WBEA by Alberta Environment and Parks and Alberta Health this morning:

  • Smoke from the Fort McMurray fire will continue to impact air quality in Fort McKay, Anzac and surrounding areas. An air quality health advisory remains in effect in the region, people who are sheltered away from the path of the fire should avoid going outdoors.
  • Forecasted Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for Fort McKay, Anzac and Fort McMurray is 11 – Very High Risk
  • Standing messaging from the Alberta Emergency Management Agency advises individuals to seek medical attention if they experience breathing difficultie.
  • The Fort St John BC fire and the Slave Lake fire are being monitored for air impacts near Grande Prairie, Peace River, Beaverlodge.
  • Smoke plumes are not thought be impacting ground level air quality at this time and air quality issues are not likely for the Peace Region today.

Air quality is still being monitored through WBEA’s 19 air monitoring stations in the Wood Buffalo Region, including two stations in Fort McMurray, two stations in and immediately outside of Fort Mckay and on station in Anzac. Data from WBEA air monitoring stations is available in real-time on WBEA’s website.

The high Air Quality Health Index readings are obviously being caused by wildfire smoke, and more specifically, by the Particulate Matter found in wildfire smoke. Particulate Matter consists of a mixture of particles of varying size, and some of these are inhalable.

Particulate Matter can be of particular concern to people who suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma. People within areas that are experiencing these elevated levels should pay particular attention to the Air Quality Health Advisory was issued on Monday by Alberta Health Services.

We will be posting new pictures taken remotely at our air monitoring station in Timberlea soon.

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