July 8, 2014 7:52 pm

Smoke blankets Saskatoon, lowering air quality

If you were outside anytime over the past 24 hours, you may have noticed a thick haze over Saskatoon and parts of west-central Saskatchewan.

Skycam / Global News

SASKATOON – If you were outside anytime over the past 24 hours, you may have noticed a thick haze over Saskatoon and parts of west-central Saskatchewan.

Smoke has wafted into the region from the Northwest Territories where 118 fires are burning.

118 Fires Burning in the Northwest Territories Tuesday, July 8, 2014.

Courtesy nwtfire.com

A northerly flow through the day Tuesday enhanced what was already a hazy situation thanks to a northwesterly flow in the mid and upper levels of the atmosphere that started bringing smoke into the area Monday night.

As the sun set Monday night, a neon pink sun was viewed by many across the city.

By late-afternoon Tuesday, air quality in Saskatoon was reduced to a level 4 on the Air Quality Health Index, which is considered to be a “moderate risk”.

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At such air quality levels, the at risk population (those with heart or breathing problems) are advised to consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous outdoor activities if experiencing symptoms.

For the general population, there is no need to modify outdoor activities unless experiencing symptoms like coughing or throat irritation.

The smoky conditions are expected to last into Wednesday before moderating through the day as a southerly flow begins to push the smoke back towards the north where it came from.

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