Saskatoon Battles Poor Air Quality Amid Rising Wildfire Smoke Threat


Over the course of the extended weekend, Saskatoon has been cast under the threat of extremely poor air quality, with warnings from Environment Canada labelling the city with a maximum 10+ rating. The disconcerting rating was announced on Saturday afternoon amidst the looming danger of pervasive wildfire smoke, steadily advancing eastward across the central terrain of Saskatchewan.

This nefarious plume of smoke from the ever-raging wildfires is the cause of alarmingly high Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) values. It’s currently gripping parts of the city, causing reduced visibilities and affecting the overall air quality and safety. Albeit a brief improvement is anticipated upon the smoke plume’s departure, the situation is likely far from resolved. Unrelenting northwesterly winds are set to rally, keeping a majority of the area in the smoke’s shadow later today and into the night.

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The government issues stark reminders that the detrimental effects of wildfire smoke on health are felt by everyone, no matter how minimal the exposure. It is necessary, therefore, to be cautious and limit exposure as diligently as reasonably possible.

A comprehensive series of recommendations were provided to safeguard public health. Individuals were encouraged to throttle their activity levels should breathing become uncomfortable or health conditions deteriorate. It’s suggested that if people feel severely ill, they should seek advice from health care providers or their local health authority.

In an effort to minimize indoor pollution, residents were advised to keep doors and windows tightly shut provided the inside temperature remains manageable. More importantly, it was highlighted that local community safe spaces could provide refuge if required.

Strikingly, the government emphasized the importance of being vigilant and responsive to your body’s demands. Ceasing or reducing activities at the first sign of symptoms is crucial in these circumstances. The need to monitor and care for those more vulnerable to the smoke’s effects, especially those under one’s individual care, was also mentioned.

Finally, for those necessitating health support or advice, an endnote was added to reach out to Healthline via 811.