NEWS
05/19/2016 15:12 EDT | Updated 05/20/2017 01:12 EDT

Smoke from Fort McMurray blankets Edmonton area; air quality advisory reinstated

EDMONTON — Smoke from wildfires near Fort McMurray is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the Edmonton area.

Environment Canada and Alberta Health Services issued an air quality advisory Thursday afternoon for the capital city and surrounding area, including south to Leduc and Beaumont, north to Morinville, west to Wabamun and east to Sherwood Park.

The statement says people may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution and will experience more serious health effects at lower levels.

Alberta Health had lifted the air quality advisory just as the smoke came in.

"Due to wildfires burning in northern Alberta, air quality is expected to be variable across much of the Edmonton zone of Alberta Health Services over the coming days, and potentially, weeks," AHS said in a news release.