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Special air quality statement issued for Toronto, southern Ontario due to wildfire smoke

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Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for all of southern Ontario due to smoke from forest fires in northwestern areas of the province.

The weather agency issued the alert Monday evening, which said that the smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

“Elevated particulate matter levels and hazy conditions have been reported at several stations,” the statement said.

“Reduced visibilities and deteriorating air quality are possible if the smoke descends to ground level.”

Click to play video: 'Video shows pitch black conditions during afternoon escape from Northern Ontario wildfire' Video shows pitch black conditions during afternoon escape from Northern Ontario wildfire
Video shows pitch black conditions during afternoon escape from Northern Ontario wildfire – Jul 13, 2021

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Officials said people should consider taking precautions to reduce exposure to the wildfire smoke as it’s “a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases,” which could be harmful.

Coughing, throat irritation, shortness of breath and headaches are all possible symptoms of being exposed to the smoke.

“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” the statement said.

Conditions are expected to improve when a cold front moves through Tuesday.

A special air quality statement has also been issued for some northern Ontario regions.

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