High Air Pollution Due to Forest Fire Smoke

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Air Quality Alert

Sioux Lookout – Climate – An Air Quality Alert as a result of smoke from wildfires has been issued by Environment Canada for Sioux Lookout, Lac Seul, Armstrong, Webequie, and Savant Lake.

Other areas could be impacted as well.

High levels of air pollution have emerged due to the presence of smoke from forest fires. The effects of smoke plumes from local forest fires are expected to continue throughout tonight, and some areas may experience the impact until Friday, resulting in deteriorated air quality.

Fluctuating Air Quality and Visibility

Air quality and visibility can fluctuate over short distances and vary significantly from hour to hour due to wildfire smoke.

Detailed Information

For more detailed information, please refer to the website: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.

Health Risks of Wildfire Smoke

Wildfire smoke, even at low concentrations, can be harmful to everyone’s health. It is essential to continue taking actions to protect your health and minimize exposure to smoke.

Vulnerable Populations at Higher Risk

People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant individuals, and individuals who work outdoors are at a higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

Recognizing Symptoms and Seeking Medical Care

If you or someone in your care experiences symptoms such as shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness, or chest pains, it is important to stop outdoor activities and contact your healthcare provider. If you feel unwell and experience symptoms, it is recommended to stay indoors.

Indoor Air Quality Measures

Maintain clean indoor air by keeping doors and windows closed when the temperature inside your home is comfortable. Consider using an air purifier with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in a room where you spend a significant amount of time. Avoid air purifiers that produce ozone. Regularly check and change the filter as needed. For more information, visit: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/healthy-living/using-portable-air-cleaner-wildfire-smoke.html.

Finding Clean Air Locations

To escape the smoke, take a break and seek out locations in your community with clean, cool air, such as libraries, shopping malls, or community centers. Contact your local health or municipal authorities for more information.

Respirator Masks for Outdoor Activities

If you must spend time outdoors, wearing a well-fitted respirator-type mask, such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator, can help reduce exposure to fine particles in smoke. These fine particles pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to gases in wildfire smoke. Pay attention to your body’s signals and reduce or stop activities if you experience symptoms.

Supporting Vulnerable Individuals

Check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to the effects of smoke.

Local Authorities and Evacuation Instructions

Stay updated with information and directions from your local authorities. If instructed to do so, evacuate promptly.

Reviewing Wildfire Smoke Plan and Medical Supplies

Review your wildfire smoke plan and ensure you have an adequate supply of medical provisions if the smoke continues to impact your community. Contact your healthcare provider if your condition does not improve.

Mental Health Awareness

Be mindful of your mental health during a smoke event. Feeling anxious or isolated is normal. If you experience stress, anxiety, or depression, reach out to your mental health care provider for guidance or visit: https://www.wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA.

Air Quality Information

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce health risks and contribute to pollution levels. You can find current and forecasted Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values on the website as well.

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