Denver: Smoke from dozens of raging wildfires in western Canada has drifted south into the United States and prompted the states of Colorado and Montana to issue air quality alerts.
Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment put out alerts and advisories for much of the eastern half of the state, including Denver. It warned that air quality may be unhealthy during that period.
“People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion; everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion,” the department said.
Particle pollution led the air quality index along parts of the Front Range to reach 168 last Saturday, the department said. A reading between 151 and 200 indicates unhealthy conditions that can affect sensitive groups as well as some members of the general public.
The fires in Canada have been burning mostly in the province of Alberta, where thousands of residents have evacuated and regional officials have issued state of emergency alerts. There have also been fires in British Columbia.
In Calgary and Edmonton, the two biggest cities in Alberta, the health impact was determined to be of “very high risk” by the Canadian government’s Air Quality Health Index. Sensitive groups such as children and older people were advised to avoid outdoor physical exertion and the general population was urged to limit outdoor activities.