The recent cold stretch has been affecting the region's air quality.
According to data from the Fort Air Partnership's (FAP) monitoring stations, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) reached the moderate risk category in all seven locations last week.
The highest ratings were recorded on Tuesday (Feb.19) in Fort Saskatchewan and Friday (Feb.22) in both Gibbons and the Fort.
"While some sources of emission, such as industrial, stay pretty constant throughout the year, we do see emissions increase from a variety of sources in the wintertime," said Nadine Blaney, executive director of Fort Air Partnership. "That includes things like home heating, fireplaces and idling vehicles."
The effects of those additional emissions are especially evident during temperature inversions, when cold air is trapped near the ground by a layer of warm air.
"We see cold temperatures and stagnant air in the wintertime, so that can lead to build up of things like particulate matter near the ground level," said Blaney. "That, in turn, will lead to an increase in air quality health index levels."
When the AQHI reaches the moderate risk category, it's recommended that at-risk populations consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities. On the other hand, members of the general population don't need to modify usual outdoor activities unless they experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
27022019airqualityThe Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) ratings from Fort Air Partnership's seven monitoring stations from February 18 to 24.


More Local News

Region experiencing elevated pollution levels

Higher pollution levels are affecting the air quality.

Chamber hosting All Candidate Forum for provincial election

Residents will soon have the chance to hear from their candidates.

Operation Red Nose provides $5,600 in community grants

Several youth-based community groups recently received some funding.

Fort Sask Wellness Hub for Youth gaining support from local partners

A new project in the Fort is getting support from many different realms.

Public pool usage down in Redwater

Last summer wasn't the strongest for the Redwater Pool.

Warm weather increasing danger of thin ice

With spring on the way, ice safety is becoming more important.

Sherwood Heights replacement school tops EIPS priority list

Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) has identified its highest capital priorities moving forward.

Double-digit temperatures not sticking around for long

That spring-like weather is soon to leave.

Road weight bans in effect in Lamont County

Lamont County's seasonal road bans are now in effect. is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide