The Saskatchewan Health Authority is warning residents to take precautions as much of the province is under an air quality advisory issued by Environment Canada.
Smoke from forest fires in Alberta and BC is drifting into the province, causing widespread poor air quality and reduced visibility. These conditions are expected for the next couple of days.
Some individuals may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke from forest fires, such as those with heart or lung-related conditions. These individuals should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure. If any symptoms are noted, affected individuals should take steps to reduce their exposure to smoke and if necessary see their physician or local walk-in clinic. People with severe symptoms should present themselves to the nearest Emergency Department.
Some of the symptoms include irritation of the eyes, throat and possibly shortness of breath. You may also notice tears, scratchy throat, cough, and runny nose, chest pain, and headache.
The best way to protect yourself is to stay inside whenever possible, close the windows of your home or office in order to keep out the outside air, close ventilation systems that bring outside air indoors, and reduce or avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you have room air cleaners with HEPA filters, turn them on. You should also avoid smoking and stay away from people who do.
To keep a close eye on the air quality health index for your area over the next few days, you can do so through Environment Canada at www.airhealth.ca.
If you have questions or are looking for advice on symptoms or what precautions to take to protect yourself from smoke, please call HealthLine at 811.
Also, a reminder that many parts of Saskatchewan are also currently under a heat warning. Find out more information here on how to stay safe during this heat wave.