Alerts in Effect
Special Air Quality StatementIssued at 15:32 Thursday 16 August 2018
Elevated pollution levels are expected or occurring.
Smoke from forest fires over western Canada is resulting in elevated AQHI values and reduced visibilities.
As a cold front continues to move across southern Manitoba, conditions are improving slightly in the northerly winds behind the front. However, smoke continues to advect into the eastern Prairies resulting in hazy conditions due to smoke aloft. Hazy skies and intermittent times of reduced visibility and elevated AQHI values are expected for the next few days over southern Manitoba.
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.
Due to the smoky conditions, individuals living in or travelling to the above noted areas are advised to be aware of potential health concerns that can be associated with current air conditions. In these current conditions, even healthy individuals may experience sore eyes, tears, coughing and a runny nose.
In areas affected by smoke from wildland fires, Manitobans are encouraged to:
- limit outdoor activity and/or strenuous physical activity; if breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity
- reduce exposure to smoke by staying indoors or moving to areas with cleaner air, as conditions can vary dramatically by area
- turn off furnaces and air-conditioning units that may draw smoke indoors
- keep indoor air cleaner 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 (particularly asthma), and therefore should avoid as much exposure to smoke 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. More information on the health effects of smoke is available at www.gov.mb.ca/health/publichealth/environmentalhealth/smoke.html
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.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.