The beautiful blue skies of Alberta are hidden due to the smoke drifting in from British Columbia.

"There is high pressure that is over much of western Canada yet again. What's happening is the winds at the upper level are bringing all the smoke in from British Columbia, and because of the large number of fires in British Columbia and the extreme amount of smoke they are producing, it's making its way right over Alberta," explained Environment Canada meteorologist Terri Lang.

Drumheller has been placed under a Special Air Quality Statement for the majority of this week.

Those who have respiratory problems such as asthma, COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) and lung disease are advised to stay indoors.

"We have also had reports of ash falling, like that is how thick it actually is. That can't be good for anybody, even the healthiest of people, so people should pull back on the amount of time they spend outdoors in unfiltered air. The air quality health index is literally off the charts right now," continued Lang.

With the smoke being so thick, the Environment Canada website says we can expect to experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches and shortness of breath.

The geography of the valley also contributes to the thickness of the smoke.

"If the air's mass is really stable, meaning it won't mix through, the air tends to get trapped very much in the valleys," warned Lang.

Lang goes on to say that she expects the smoke to continue on and off until September or until the forest fires have been put out.

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