The smoke created by the wildfires currently burning in British Columbia has reached Saskatchewan, prompting Environment Canada to issue a special statement on air quality.
The national environmental agency warned that elevated air pollution levels are expected in many areas of the province. The regions currently under warning include Saskatoon, Kindersley, Martensville, Moose Jaw, Rosetown, Rosthern, Wakaw, Warman, Wilkie. Several other towns and rural municipalities are also affected, primarily in the south-western region of Saskatchewan. A full list of the affected communities can be found online.
According to Environment Canada the drifting smoke could cause symptoms such as increased coughing, eye irritation, headache, sore throat or shortness of breath. Those with heart or lung conditions are at increased risk, as are children and seniors. People who work outdoors, or participate in outdoor sports or other strenuous activities are also at higher risk.
Staying indoors with doors and windows shut is the best way to avoid the smoke, but Environment Canada also warned this can lead to potential heat injuries if the building is not air conditioned.
The forest fire smoke has not yet reached Prince Albert or the northern part of the province, but paNOW will keep you updated on all current air quality statements and warnings in the region.
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