With another drop in Alberta's air quality Sunday because of smoke from wildfires, as Calgary hit 10, or very high, on the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) scale, people are seeking solutions to the problem.
Very high AQHI values are being reported through much of Alberta, including Edmonton and Lethbridge, and are expected to remain high through mid-week in central and northern regions. This haze can health issues like sore and watery eyes, runny nose and sinus irritation, as well as coughing and headache.
More serious symptoms include wheezing, shortness of breath and severe coughing.
Pediatric respirologist Dr. Anne Hicks said it is not safe for anyone to be outside when there’s a high-risk level of smoke.
“For any person, even a healthy adult, when you get to a certain level of respiratory irritation you are causing inflammation and damage to the lungs,” Hicks said. “Everybody should be cautious. Even if you don’t have asthma, if you’re feeling very short of breath do get checked out,” Hicks added.
So the solution? Well, some on Facebook have started the creatively named "Point your fans west and blow the smoke back to BC" event. Their goal? As simple as it seems: "In an attempt to clear our cities of smoke and to stop breathing in that nasty BC smoke. Please direct all your house hold fans West (towards the mountains) in an attempt to rid all the smoke and send it back to BC where it came from," the page writes.
Although (hopefully) a joke, the page has gotten nearly a thousand likes. Some light-hearted fun in the midst of a dreary situation never hurts.