The hazy sky over Winnipeg Monday is courtesy dozens of forest fires burning hundreds of kilometers away.
There are at least two “hot spots” in Northern Manitoba, with another 20-plus forest fires burning in Saskatchewan.
The Air Quality Health Index put the air quality at 5 Monday afternoon, which means the health risk is moderate. Those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are advised to cancel strenuous activities.
Manitoba Conservation collects air samples at several locations in Winnipeg and Brandon and then analyze them for pollutants like ground-level ozone, particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide. Forest fires and wind can increase the levels of particulate matter.
Brian Asher, an air quality analyst with Manitoba Conservation, particulate matter, is often present in smoke from forest fires.
“It gets really deep in your lungs, and when it gets deep in your lungs, it can have more of an impact on your health,” said Asher, who takes the data collected and passes it on to Environment Canada.
The weather agency put out an air quality statement about the haze shortly after noon Monday.
“Air quality may decrease at times, especially in areas closer to the Saskatchewan border, which may see locally poor visibility and air quality readings today into this evening,” the statement said.
The smoke is expected to disperse overnight but may redevelop Tuesday afternoon and into the evening as northwest winds redevelop, Environment Canada said.
Communities affected by the statement as of noon are:
- Portage la Prairie, Headingley, Brunkild, Carman
- Steinbach, St. Adolphe, Dominion City, Vita, Richer
- Morden, Winkler, Altona, Emerson, Morris
- Selkirk, Gimli, Stonewall, Woodlands, Eriksdale
- Dugald, Beausejour, Grand Beach
- Bissett, Nopiming Provincial Park, Pine Falls
- Whiteshell, Lac du Bonnet, Pinawa
- Sprague, Northwest Angle Provincial Forest
- Grand Rapids
- Arborg, Hecla, Fisher River, Gypsumville, Ashern
- Dauphin, Roblin, Winnipegosis
- Minnedosa, Neepawa, Russell, Riding Mountain National Park
- Ste. Rose, McCreary, Alonsa, Gladstone
- The Pas, Wanless, Westray, Clearwater Lake Provincial Park
- Swan River, Duck Mountain, Porcupine Provincial Forest
- Flin Flon, Cranberry Portage, Snow Lake
- Berens River, Little Grand Rapids, Bloodvein, Atikaki
- Norway House, Cross Lake, Wabowden
- Poplar River
via Far away forest fires make skies hazy over Winnipeg – Winnipeg | Globalnews.ca.