Sioux Lookout, ON – Smoke in the air and multiple air quality advisories in recent days are causing concern for many local residents. While Northwestern Ontario has a number of active forest fires, none pose any immediate danger to the citizens of Sioux Lookout.
Smoke from fires across the Northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba continues to cause reduced visibility as well as physical symptoms such as coughing, eye and throat irritation, headaches, and shortness of breath.
The poor air quality can be especially serious for seniors, children, and those with medical conditions such as asthma.
With more high temperatures and no significant rainfall forecast, the forest fire hazard in the region remains high to extreme.
Forest fires can start unexpectedly and grow out of control quickly. During times of high fire hazard, it’s always best to be prepared. Here are a few things you can do to prepare for ANY emergency, including storms and evacuations:
Create and keep an emergency kit containing
- Two litres of drinking water for each person in your household
- A 72 hour supply of non-perishable food that can be eaten uncooked – along with utensils to open and eat them like can openers and cutlery
- Any special need items like diapers and formula
- Toilet paper
- A week’s supply of prescription medications and over-the-counter medications
- Sleeping bags
- At least one change of clothing
- Personal hygiene products
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- A battery operated radio to receive news updates if internet connections aren’t available
- At least $100 cash, in small bills
- A fully charged battery bank for recharging cell phones/mobile devices
Also, make sure your vehicle’s gas tank at least half full. In the event of an emergency mass evacuation, line-ups for gas may be long – or refuelling may not even be possible
While Sioux Lookout is not under any threat of evacuation from forest fires, the Municipality may become a hub for northern evacuees.
This may include coordinating transportation, hosting evacuees overnight, and helping with food and services to those displaced by fires.
Please note that Sioux Lookout remains under a Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry-issued Restricted Fire Zone (RFZ) until further notice.
That means no open burning is allowed and all Municipally-issued fire permits are suspended until the RFZ is lifted.
Keep important documents (passports, birth certificates, status cards, health cards, etc) somewhere they can be picked up and taken with you quickly
Determine an out of town contact you can call for temporary shelter