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Environment Canada warns of air pollution as crews continue to battle fires in western Nova Scotia

A brush fire in western Nova Scotia has resulted in Environment Canada issuing a special air quality statement for the region.
A brush fire in western Nova Scotia has resulted in Environment Canada issuing a special air quality statement for the region. Nova Scotia Lands and Forestry

Environment Canada is warning residents of western Nova Scotia of high levels of air pollution as multiple fires burn in the area.

Smoke plumes from fires near Argyle and Pubnico in Yarmouth County, Lake Alma in Annapolis County and Saturday Lake in Lunenburg County are likely to stay in the area Saturday due to light winds.

Read more: Wildfire burns 15 hectares, winds blow smoke in Nova Scotia’s Yarmouth County

As the wind picks up later in the day the smoke is expected to move north from the location of the fires.

But Environment Canada is warning that air quality may deteriorate as smoke descends to ground level.

Heavy rain in the forecast is expected to help the situation overnight, improving air quality by Sunday.

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Click to play video 'No lives or homes lost in sweeping Porters Lake fire' No lives or homes lost in sweeping Porters Lake fire
No lives or homes lost in sweeping Porters Lake fire

Nova Scotia’s Lands and Forestry Department has said that crews remain on the scene of several wildfires in the province.

Department spokesman Brian Taylor told The Canadian Press that the ongoing wildfire in Argyle, a municipality in Yarmouth County, is 50 per cent contained.

A portion of Highway 103 near the 15-hectare fire was closed due to the smoke.

A department helicopter and 21 staff, as well as one volunteer fire department member, were on the scene of that blaze.

Seven other wildfires also burned in Queen, Cumberland, Lunenburg and Annapolis counties throughout the day, some of which were 100 per cent contained.

A fire in the Saturday Lake area of Lunenburg county was 10 per cent contained by Saturday afternoon, the department said.

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A Lands and Forestry helicopter and 10 department staff members were deployed, and two air tankers from Fredericton, N.B., also dropped water on the fire.

Environment Canada is warning that individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease will be especially at risk.

With files from The Canadian Press