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Air quality advisory in effect for Saskatchewan

The province has issued an air quality health advisory.

Citizens are advised to take proper precautions as smoke from forest fires spread across Saskatchewan.

The poorer air quality puts people with lung or heart conditions and the elderly at risk.

“Smoke can cause increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches and shortness of breath,” Saskatchewan Chief Medical Health Officer Dr. Saqib Shahab said.  “Monitor your symptoms and seek medical attention if you get worse, particularly if you have a pre-existing respiratory condition.”

People at risk should consider remaining indoors if they can see a haze or smoke, especially if they can smell or taste the smoke. People with heart or lung conditions (such as asthma) should consider remaining indoors if they can see a haze or smoke, especially if they can smell or taste the smoke.

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Healthy people typically don’t experience symptoms but should reduce or reschedule strenuous outdoors activities if smoke levels are high.

The Government’s suggestions for protecting yourself and family members during severe smoke events:

  • Do not rely on dust masks, bandanas, and cloths (even if wet), since they are designed to trap large particles and not designed to protect lungs from smoke.
  • Reduce or eliminate exposure to outside air when inside, by closing windows and shutting off ventilation systems that bring outdoor air indoors.
  • Stay inside and turn on your air conditioner (check to make sure it does not bring outdoor air indoors). Or, go to an air‐conditioned public space (mall, library, church) to reduce exposure to outdoor air.
  • If you have an HEPA air cleaner that will reduce levels of small particles in indoor air, use it and stay in the room where it is located.
  • Avoid tobacco smoke exposure ‐ smoking puts added stress on your lungs and those around you.

Residents can check current air quality conditions at www.environment.gov.sk.ca/airqualityindex

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