Smoke from wildfires near Fort McMurray is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility, especially in areas near the fires and immediately down wind.
Light northwesterly winds will cause the smoke to drift southeastward into central and southern Saskatchewan this afternoon. Conditions are expected to deteriorate during the daytime today as the smoke continues to spread southeastward from the fires. However, winds will shift to become southerly on Monday, thus improving air quality and visibility in areas to the south and east of the fires.
Little change is expected in areas near the Fort McMurray fires for the next several days until the next major low pressure system moves through the area to help disperse the smoke.
Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.