Sandy Lake – Pikangikum – Dear Lake – Special Air Quality Advisory in Effect

Pikangikum First Nation
Pikangikum First Nation

SANDY LAKE FN – Environment Canada has issued an alert regarding the air quality for the far west portion of Northwestern Ontario. This is due to smoke from forest fires in the region. The fire hazard is high across the region, and smoke from fires are likely to impact the area.

Emergency Area Order
Emergency Area Order

Kenora Fire 71 Update

Kenora Fire 71 is located approximately six kilometres east of the Manitoba border, and 80 kilometres north of the city of Kenora. On Wednesday, July 18, the fire grew from approximately 3,000 to 6,800 hectares progressing a distance of nearly 10 kilometres to the northeast towards Trapline Lake. Values protection equipment installed by fire crews has so far been successful. To date no structures are known to have been lost.

Approximately 20 fire ranger crews continue to install sprinkler systems on structural values, and lay hose lines around the perimeter of the fire. Helicopters and waterbombers are also on scene. An incident command team has been assigned to these fires with a basecamp in Minaki as a staging area for a full suppression response, once resources are in place.
Kenora Fire 71 continues to produce significant smoke drift affecting communities in the Lake of the Woods area. Those with urgent health concerns should contact Ontario Tele-health at 1-866-797-0000.

Fires in Woodland Caribou Provincial Park

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park, west of the town of Red Lake currently has 13 fires within its boundaries, most of them under observation is this remote access park. The past 24 hours saw a few of those fires as they grew in size.

Red Lake Fire 76 is now 5,000 hectares in size. Neighbouring to north is Red lake Fire 81 which is now 4,200 hectares. Red Lake Fire 97 has grown to 2,300 hectares. The MNRF is relocating crews from manned fires in response to the significant growth. Smoke drift from these fires will be noticeable in communities to the east such as Red Lake and Ear Falls. . Those with urgent health concerns should contact Ontario Tele-health at 1-866-797-0000.

Special air quality statement in effect for:

  • Pikangikum – Poplar Hill – MacDowell
  • Sandy Lake – Weagamow Lake – Deer Lake

Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility.

High levels of air pollution have developed due to smoke from forest fires. The air quality may be locally poor today and tonight.

Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

In general, wearing a mask is not the best way to protect your health during a smoke event. In fact, masks may lead to a false sense of security, which may encourage increased physical activity and time spent outdoors, meaning increased exposure to smoke. They can also make breathing more difficult.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.