People in southern Alberta are being urged to stay indoors with windows closed Friday, as wildfire smoke blankets much of the region.
For Calgary, Airdrie and Red Deer, Environment and Climate Change Canada has issued an air quality health index of 10+, the highest on the scale, signifying very high risk. Most of the province is under a special air quality statement, as well.
Lethbridge and Medicine Hat are rated at four or moderate risk currently, with an expectation of a rating of seven, or high risk, in the smoke.
In northern Alberta, fires have forced more than 10,000 people from their homes — more than twice the number from the day before. Smoke from the fires is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility throughout Alberta, British Columbia and in the United States.
Edmonton and northern Alberta has struggled with air quality in recent days. The sky lit up orange in the province’s capital on Thursday.