Air quality statement issued in Barrie due to smoke from wildfires in Quebec

(Barrie, ON) – Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement as a result of the many wildfires burning in Quebec. Light to no wind causes the smoke to settle into the region where it creates a haze in the air and the constant smell of campfire smoke. Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour.

Barrie Fire’s dispatch centre is seeing an increase in calls for the smell of smoke in the area. These types of calls tie up resources looking for possible fires, if there is no actual visible smoke or flame issuing from a vehicle or structure, consider if the smell is possibly that of wildfire smoke in the air. Traditionally, structure fire smoke is very dark and fast moving. If you see dark smoke or flame from a property, call 9-1-1.

Wildfire smoke concerns:

  • Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations.
  • Continue to take actions to protect your health and reduce exposure to smoke.
  • People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.
  • Stop outdoor activities and contact your health care provider if you or someone in your care experiences shortness of breath, wheezing (including asthma attacks), severe cough, dizziness or chest pains. Stay inside if you are feeling unwell and experiencing symptoms.

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Scott LaMantia
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