3rd Quarter Results Affected by Forest Fires

Posted on October 5, 2017

Fort Air Partnership (FAP), the organization that monitors the air local residents breathe, released third quarter Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) results today.  Results show air quality in and around Alberta’s Industrial Heartland from July 1 to September 30 of 2017 was impacted significantly by forest fire smoke from British Columbia and elsewhere.

Five of FAP’s air monitoring stations collect data that is used by the Government of Alberta in the calculation of a daily AQHI, which describes the level of health risk associated with an AQHI level. The health risk increases as the index level rises.

The index at the five stations registered low risk readings the vast majority of the time. Lamont County had the highest percentage of low risk readings and Gibbons had the least. However all stations were in the low risk category more than 92% of the time.  Of the 10,541 monitored hours, 48 hours reached the AQHI high risk category. Most of these were caused by forest fire smoke.

Risk Level (% of time in each)
Station Name Hours Monitored Low Moderate High Very High
Bruderheim 2135 93.54% 5.95% 0.51% 0.00%
Elk Island 2099 93.43% 6.05% 0.38% 0.14%
Fort Saskatchewan* 2035 92.58% 7.42% 0.00% 0.00%
Gibbons 2121 92.03% 7.26% 0.52% 0.19%
Lamont County 2151 94.65% 4.83% 0.51% 0.00%
Total hours 10,541 9,830 663 41 7

*Instrumentation issues for several days in July and August may have affected calculation of AQHI readings at this station. However, regional forecasting for the Fort Saskatchewan area based on data from all stations in the region was still valid during this period.

On our website, local residents can check the forecast and daily AQHI and a live data feed on a variety of substances. We also now post weekly and quarterly AQHI results for our air monitoring stations.