Forest fireplace smoke is inflicting an air high quality alert for southern Manitoba, together with the town of Winnipeg

WINNIPEG – CLIMATE – Wildfire north of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan has caused air quality alerts for much of southern Saskatchewan and now southern Manitoba.

Special air quality declaration in force for:

Smoke from forest fires north of Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan, affects parts of western, central and southern Manitoba tonight as the wind turns north behind an advancing cold front. The smoke is expected to increase in concentration tonight and persist for much of the night. On Friday, rather light winds will create stagnant, smoky conditions that last most of the day and gradually spread into Friday night.

People may experience symptoms such as increased cough, throat irritation, headache, or shortness of breath. Children, the elderly and people with cardiovascular or lung diseases such as asthma are particularly at risk.

People with lung diseases like asthma and COPD can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally have more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can make their illnesses worse, leading to increased drug use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.

Due to the smoky conditions, it is recommended that people living or traveling in the above areas are aware of potential health concerns related to current air conditions. In these current conditions, even healthy individuals can experience eye pain, tears, coughs, and a runny nose.

In areas affected by smoke from forest fires, Manitobans are encouraged to:
– Limiting outdoor activities and / or strenuous physical activity; If breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce activity
– Reduce smoke exposure by staying indoors or by moving to areas with clean air, as conditions can vary widely depending on the area
– Turn off ovens and air conditioners that can draw smoke indoors
– Keep indoor air clean by avoiding smoking or burning other materials

People at higher risk include young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with heart or lung conditions (especially asthma), so they should avoid smoking as much as possible.

Manitobans with health questions or concerns can contact their health care provider or call Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257. For more information on the health effects of smoke, visit www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/smoke.html.

Stay inside if you have difficulty breathing. Find a cool and ventilated place indoors. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air can help. When you open the windows you can let in more polluted air. If your home is not air-conditioned, you should go to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation center) that is air-conditioned.

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