Smoke from Quebec fires prompts air quality advisories in Maritimes

A ridge of high pressure is pushing smoke from forest fires in Quebec into the Maritimes. Dept. of Natural Resources

HALIFAX – A ridge of high pressure is pushing smoke from forest fires in Quebec into the Maritimes, prompting Environment Canada to issue advisories or special statements in all three provinces.

The air quality levels in New Brunswick are expected to be the worst in the south and southeast parts of the province.

Environment Canada reported Tuesday afternoon fair to poor air quality levels from Fredericton east to Moncton.

“These levels may persist until late on Wednesday when an approaching trough will give a southwest flow. This should flush the smoke and improve conditions by Wednesday evening,” the New Brunswick advisory, issued at 4:15 p.m. AT, read.

The areas under the air quality and health advisory include:

Saint John and County
Sussex/Kennebecasis Valley and Kings County
Fredericton and Southern York County
Oromocto and Sunbury County
Grand Lake and Queens County
Moncton and Southeast New Brunswick
Fundy National Park
Kent County
Kouchibouguac National Park

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Meanwhile in Nova Scotia, the Weather Office issued a special air quality statement for much of the mainland and Cape Breton, noting smoke had been seen in central and eastern areas.

“At this point particulate amounts still look near normal but are starting to rise. We will be monitoring this closely,” Environment Canada said.

The areas affected include:

Halifax Metro and Halifax County West
Halifax County – east of Porters Lake
Kings County
Hants County
Colchester County – Truro and south
Colchester County – Cobequid Bay
Cumberland County – Minas Shore
Cumberland County North and Cobequid Pass
Colchester County North
Pictou County
Antigonish County
Guysborough County
Cape Breton

Smoke from the fires will also pass over Prince Edward Island.

New Brunwick’s Dept. of Health warns people with heart or lung conditions, including asthma, symptoms could worsen due to the air quality and they should limit physical exertion outside.

Officials also advised older people and young children to “consider reducing physical activity outdoors until the air quality improves,” adding even older children and adults in good health could experience some discomfort or throat irritation because of the smoke.

While Environment Canada said the smoke conditions should start to clear up by late Wednesday, residents and business could help the situation by limiting automobile emissions, gas powered lawn mowers and the use of products such as Aerosol sprays and oil-based paints.


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