At 9:00 o'clock on Saturday evening Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Special Air Quality Statement.

It's in effect for the Okotoks, High River and Claresholm regions and throughout the Foothills.

They are reporting the wildfire smoke coming over the Rocky Mountains from northeast British Columbia is causing very poor air quality and reduced visibility.

Northeastern Alberta have recently seen improved conditions however smoke is expected to return Sunday.  

For most of the province conditions are expected to improve by Sunday night.

The release also reminds that wildfire smoke can be harmful even at low concentrations. 

It also goes on to provide some measures to reduce your exposure:

  • Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.
  • Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke.
  • If you have an HVAC system in your home, use the highest rated MERV filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly.
  • You can also use a portable High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaner.
  • Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable.
  • Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air.
  • 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.
  • Reduce sources of indoor air pollution.
  • If you can, avoid smoking or vaping indoors, burning incense and candles, frying foods, using wood stoves and vacuuming.
  • Dust on indoor surfaces can be removed by wiping and wet mopping during a pollution episode.

If you experience any feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, contact your mental health care provider for advice or visit Wellness Together Canada.

For more information please visit Alberta Health Services at

Visit 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.