Air quality statement issued in Saskatchewan as U.S. wildfire smoke blankets province

Smoke from the wildfires in the U.S. are blanketing parts of southern Saskatchewan, says Environment Canada.

On Saturday, the weather agency issued a special air quality statement for the following areas, which will remain in effect until Sunday:

  • Leader including the area of Gull Lake
  • Swift Current including the areas of Herbert, Cabri, Kyle and Lucky Lake
  • Shaunavon including the areas of Maple Creek, Val Marie and Cypress Hills
  • Moose Jaw including the areas of Pense, Central Butte and Craik
  • Assiniboia including the areas of Gravelbourg and Coronach

The smoke is from 18 forest fires that are currently burning in the pacific northwest, which includes the states of Washington and Oregon.

Read more: B.C. sending firefighters south of border to help battle massive Oregon wildfires

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Environment Canada says the smoke from the fires will be carried into Saskatchewan Saturday, most of it staying aloft in the atmosphere and producing hazy skies.

“A low-pressure system will carry thicker smoke into extreme southwestern Saskatchewan this evening and will produce noticeably smokey conditions,” the agency said in a statement.

“Air Quality will become very poor in some locations.”

“This low-pressure system will move out of the province Sunday and air quality will gradually improve during the day.”

Some smokiness will occur throughout southern Saskatchewan on Sunday, says Environment Canada. However, it will not be as dense as in the southwest region of the province.

Read more: How the U.S. wildfires are impacting air quality from B.C. to Ontario

The agency says people may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath.

“Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases, such as asthma, are especially at risk,” Environment Canada said.

People are asked to stay inside if they experience breathing difficulties.

Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which include many chemicals that can harm your health, Environment Canada said.

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The agency is advising people to call the province’s health line at 811 for advice on health risks, symptoms and precautions associated with air quality.

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