Special Air Quality Statement issued for smokey Saskatoon

Click to play video: 'Environment Canada issues air quality warning in parts of Saskatchewan'
Environment Canada issues air quality warning in parts of Saskatchewan
Environment Canada issued air quality statements for large portions of Saskatchewan on Tuesday as a blanket of haze was visible on the Saskatoon skyline. The air quality warning has also prompted Saskatoon Public Schools to postpone the city-wide track and field meet until Thursday – Jun 13, 2023

As wildfires rage across Canada, Saskatchewan is seeing smoke spread across the province.

Environment Canada has issued a Special Air Quality Statement for Saskatoon, adding that the city has a 10+ risk on the Air Quality Health Index, along with Buffalo Narrows and Prince Albert.

Conditions are expected to improve overnight with a chance of showers and thunderstorms rolling in.

A University of British Columbia project called Firesmoke Canada is tracking the wildfire smoke across the country, showing a map largely engulfing Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Environment Canada said the smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility.

The statement warns that people with lung disease, heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people and those who work outdoors are at a higher risk of health effects from the smoke.

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Residents should check on the air quality index, as well as monitor their own symptoms.

Terri Lang, a meteorologist with Environment Canada said this was a mix of smoke, contributed by B.C., Alberta, northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

She said southeast winds should give us a short reprieve, but we’ll be right back in the smoke come Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.

Lang added for the index to hit 10+ the smoke needs to be particularly bad.

“It does take into account some other pollutants as well, but certainly for this case it is the smoke that’s making it that bad,” Lang said.

She said the particulate matter within the smoke is small and easily inhaled.

“As long as these fires are burning the smoke is going to ebb and flow.”

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