Wildfire smoke hangs over downtown Grande Prairie, Alta. on Thursday, May 30, 2019.
Peter Shokeir / Daily Herald-Tribune
Wildfire smoke is heavily impacting the Grande Prairie region Thursday as authorities warn residents to take precautions.Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for the Grande Prairie region as of 6:23 a.m. Thursday. Statements have also been issued for most of northern Alberta, including Edmonton, Peace River, Whitecourt, Drayton Valley, Hinton, Slave Lake and others.“Smoke from wildfires in northern Alberta is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility in some areas,” Environment Canada stated. “In central parts of the province, smoke is expected to move back north by Friday morning as the flow shifts to southeasterly.”As of 8 a.m. Thursday, the Peace Airshed Zone Association also reported that the Air Quality Health Index for Grande Prairie was at 8.0, which is in the high range. Wembley was also in the high range at 7.0, while Beaverlodge was within the moderate range at 4.0.Those with breathing difficulties are advised to stay inside.“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” Environment Canada added.