Air pollution levels are rising due to wildfire smoke from northern Ontario and Quebec, and pollution levels are expected to increase over much of Ontario over the next few days.
Smoke from the wildfires will move south on Tuesday afternoon or night, worsening air quality.
The air quality profile has expanded to southern Ontario, covering almost the entire province from London to Ottawa and Toronto.
Steven Flisfeder, a meteorologist with Environment Canada Alert Preparedness, says it will take some time for the smoke from the wildfires to move east, with the potential to reach the Ottawa area by noon on Wednesday.
“We are expecting smoke from fires in northeastern Ontario and Quebec to move into southern Ontario and worsen air quality through the afternoon and evening,” says Flisfeder.
“If you are out this morning, it will be fine. As we move towards afternoon and evening, then the air quality will deteriorate and people should start thinking of ways to keep themselves safe from poor air quality.
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The weather agency says air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary significantly from hour to hour.
Flissfeeder warns that conditions can change depending on which direction the wind is blowing.
“Right now for most of southern Ontario, it looks like it could stay in place until at least Thursday. Air quality could deteriorate over parts of southern Ontario, possibly even on Friday,” he says.
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This isn’t the first time that smoke from wildfires this summer has had a far-reaching effect.
“Typically, in a given year, it is northern and northwestern Ontario that is most affected by smog and air quality concerns,” he says. “Given the fire conditions this year, especially in northeastern Ontario and Quebec, we are in a regime of smoke air reaching the surface in southern Ontario, so this is of more concern than a normal year.”
Environment Canada warns that wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health, even in low concentrations.
The weather agency says, “People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older people, children, pregnant people and people working outdoors are more likely to experience health effects from wildfire smoke.” There is more danger.”
Individuals are advised to consult with their health care provider and to either stop or reduce activity levels if breathing discomfort occurs.
The weather agency recommends that people drink plenty of water, seek clean air and wear N95 masks when outside to help their bodies cope with the smoke.
“Reduce sources of air pollution indoors. If you can, avoid smoking or vaping indoors, burning incense and candles, frying food, using wood stoves, and vacuuming. The Met Agency says that during pollution, dust on indoor surfaces can be removed by mopping and damp mopping.
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