The Alberta Healh Services air quality advisory has been extended to cover the Edmonton area as well (earlier advisories were issued for the Calgary region and for Central Alberta). Children and the elderly are at higher risk for smoke-related illness. Even healthy individuals, however, may experience temporary adverse health effects such as irritation of the eyes and throat and shortness of breath. More information is available from the Alberta Health Services website (www.albertahealthservices.ca).
On August 11, 2015, US News & World Report featured an article entitled "How the West's Drought Is Affecting Lung Health" by Michael O. Schroeder. The article describes the impact of wildfires on the concentration of particulate matter in the air. At risk are not only individuals with respiratory problems, but the general populace, especially children and young people. Because of how tiny the particles are, they can have a profound impact on health, and lead to asthma attacks, heart attacks and stroke. Given the changing climate, wildfires and the risk they pose to human health will continue to be an issue.