Skip to Content

Smoky skies, poor air quality across Canada as nearly 800 wildfires burn


By Ryan Flanagan

Click here for updates on this story

    TORONTO (CTV Network) — Parts of seven provinces and one territory were subject to air quality alerts Tuesday morning as smoke from hundreds of wildfires caused hazy conditions and health risks. As of 10:15 a.m. EDT, Environment Canada had issued weather advisories for major cities including Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa, as well of all of New Brunswick. A stronger smog warning covered much of southern Quebec, including Montreal and Quebec City. The agency’s alerts covered much of B.C.’s interior and northeast, western and northern Alberta, eastern and northern Saskatchewan, Ontario’s far northwest, all of southern Ontario, most of southern Quebec, all of New Brunswick, and Thebacha Region in the Northwest Territories. However, the worst air quality in the country at that time was said to be in Winnipeg, based on the federal air quality health index (AQHI). Manitoba’s largest city was said to have an AQHI value above 10, representing a very high risk to human health. The air quality was forecast to improve to only a high risk by Tuesday night. High-risk air quality levels were also reported Tuesday morning in Edmonton, Regina, Montreal and Quebec City. In all of these cities, the air quality was expected to start improving later Tuesday and through Wednesday. However, there was no sign of any impending rain, which would make a big difference in both reducing the smoke and combating the approximately 800 wildfires that have caused the haze. Nearly 300 wildfires were burning in British Columbia as of Tuesday morning, including one that flared up late Monday, resulting in an evacuation order from the Osoyoos Indian Band. There were 68 wildfires burning in Alberta as of Monday, 171 active in Saskatchewan as of Tuesday, 130 in Manitoba as of Sunday, and 121 in Ontario as of Monday. Four fires in Ontario are of particular concern for firefighters, including a 16,000-hectare blaze that is seven kilometres from the evacuated Poplar Hill First Nation. As is the case with other forms of smoke, smoke from wildfires can be hazardous to human health. Symptoms can include increased coughing, headaches and shortness of breath. There is also emerging evidence that even a little bit of exposure to wildfire smoke may worsen eczema and other skin conditions, and that its fine particular matter is more dangerous to our health than car exhaust. Environment Canada warns that children, seniors and those with cardiovascular issues are at increased risk of smoke-related symptoms, and that anyone exposed to wildfire smoke should limit outdoor activity and hydrate often.

Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.

Sonja Puzic

Article Topic Follows: CNN - Regional

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content