The west-central region was hit with a plume of smoke on Sunday night. With poor air quality, and reduced visibility being noticed at the time, a special air quality statement was released at 7:26 PM on Sunday. 

"A trough of low pressure is concentrating wildfire smoke and PM 2.5 and will be moving south and east throughout the night." it stated, before giving a timeline. "Smoke should slowly disperse throughout Monday improving conditions by Monday night. The fine particles in wildfire smoke pose the main health risk. As smoke levels increase, health risks increase."

Screenshot 2024-07-08 073339.png While the red deals with extreme heat, a smoke warning has been applied for anyone inside the grey area (Screengrab via weather.gc.ca)

While smoke can affect everyone, the population most at risk includes seniors, pregnant women, infants and young children. People who smoke, and also people that work outdoors are at a higher risk of being impacted. That goes for anyone taking part in exercises or other strenuous activity outdoors.

Anyone with existing illness or chronic health conditions should seek medical attention if they begin to experience symptoms. If feeling common mild symptoms such as eye, nose and throat irritation, stop any activity. More serious problems like chest pains or a severe cough is also possible, as if there is a potential medical emergency, seek medical assistance immediately.

It's also important to limit time outdoors when the smoke is bad. If spending time outdoors, a well-constructed, well-fitting and properly worn respirator type mask can reduce your exposure to the fine particles in the smoke.

When inside, make sure to keep windows and doors closed as much as possible. Clean indoor air can be maintained using a clean, good quality air filter in your ventilation system. A certified portable air purifier that can filter fine particles is another beneficial appliance according to the statement.

Anyone looking for advice on the above topics, or has a question about their health can call Healthline 8-1-1 for service 24-hours-a-day.