Wildfire smoke and summertime smog lead to higher Air Quality Health Index (AHQI) ratings from April to June 2023

Posted on July 11, 2023

From April through June 2023, Fort Air Partnership (FAP) recorded 12,716 hours of air monitoring data for use in calculating the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) at seven stations in our Airshed.


Hours monitored

Low-risk AQHI

Moderate-risk AQHI

High-risk AQHI

Very-high risk AQHI






(All in hours)
  • 11,520 (or 78%) of the hours were low-risk AQHI. 
  • 2,485 (or 16.7%) of the hours were moderate-risk AQHI.
  • 778 (or 5.3%) of the hours were high or very high-risk AQHI.


Summary of Exceedances

There were 544 one-hour exceedances of the Alberta Ambient Air Quality Objectives (AAAQO) and 88 exceedances of the 24-hour objective in the second quarter of 2023.

The increased number of high and very-high-risk AQHI hours resulted from wildfire smoke and summertime smog in the FAP Airshed. Wildfire smoke increased the amount of fine particulate matter in our Airshed, especially from May 16-25 and June 8-14, but also on June 2-3 and June 16. Regional meteorological conditions (which led to smog formation) resulted in a 24-hour fine particulate matter exceedance on April 1.

There were 494 one-hour exceedances of fine particulate matter caused by wildfire smoke. There were also 46 one-hour exceedances of ozone levels caused by wildfire smoke and/or summertime smog, three one-hour exceedances of benzene with an undetermined source, and one one-hour exceedance of hydrogen sulphide with an undetermined source.

Air quality measurements are compared continuously to both one and 24-hour AAAQOs. An exceedance of an AAAQO is reported to the Alberta Government, and the likely cause of the exceedance is investigated.

For more details: April to June 2023 air monitoring report.