Smoke from Canadian wildfires prompts air quality alerts in Colorado and Montana

DENVER (AP) — Smoke from dozens of wildfires in western Canada drifted south into the United States, prompting the states of Colorado and Montana to issue air quality watches.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment turned off alerts and notices from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon for much of the eastern half of the state, including Denver. He warned that the air quality can be unhealthy during that period.

“People with heart or lung disease, the elderly, and children should avoid prolonged or intense exertion; all others should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion,” the department said.

Particle pollution pushed the air quality index across parts of the Front Range to as high as 168 on Saturday, the department said. A reading between 151 and 200 indicates unsanitary conditions that may affect sensitive groups, as well as some members of the general public.

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The Utah Department of Environmental Quality said Friday that it was beginning to see smoke on its monitors in the northern and eastern parts of the state. He urged residents to avoid exertion outdoors in areas with visible smoke or haze.

The smoke created a widespread haze in Idaho earlier in the week, according to its Department of Environmental Quality.

The fires in Canada have been burning mainly 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, Alberta’s two largest cities, the Canadian government’s Air Quality and Health Index on Saturday determined the health impact to be “very high risk.” Sensitive groups such as children and the elderly were advised to avoid physical exertion outdoors and the general population was urged to limit outdoor activities.

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