Smoke from Ontario forest fires triggers air quality warning in south of province

Hazy Toronto skyline. Global News

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for a portion of southern Ontario after forest fires in northwestern Ontario led to high levels of air pollution.

The weather agency said the smoke from the forest fires is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

The areas under the special air quality statement include Hamilton through Toronto to Ottawa and as far north as Barrie, Grey Bruce and Algonquin.

Read more: Northwestern Ontario dealing with surge in forest fires as hot, dry weather settles into region

“Smoke is expected or occurring,”  Environment Canada said, adding that smoke plumes may move over southern Ontario. “Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke descends to ground level.”

“If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure,” the weather agency said. “Wildfire smoke is a constantly changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can be harmful to your health.”

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Environment Canada said people may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

Those more at risk include children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease such as asthma.

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