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Air quality statement issued in Waterloo region amid wildfires in Ontario, Quebec

Environment Canada says several groups of people across southwestern Ontario are at a higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

On Monday around 10:30 a.m., the national weather agency issued a special air quality statement, saying smoke plumes from local forest fires as well as forest fires in Quebec have resulted in deteriorated air quality.

“Poor air quality with moderate to high-risk Air Quality Health Index values may persist through the day today and possibly into Tuesday for some areas,” the alert reads.

These areas include the Region of Waterloo and Guelph areas.

High levels of air pollution are expected due to smoke from the forest fires, Environment Canada said.

The weather agency said people with lung disease 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.

Environment Canada is advising you to stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell.

According to Environment Canada’s Air Quality Health Index, current conditions are at a level 4, which represents a moderate risk.

This could raise to a level 5, with a level 7 high risk in smoke, by the end of the day.

Environment Canada says for those who must spend time outdoors, a well-fitting respirator-type mask that does not allow air to pass through small openings can help reduce exposure to fine particles in smoke.

The number of forest fires in northern Ontario is continuing to grow with a total of 48 active fires in the region.

As of Sunday morning, there are 31 active forest fires in the northeast and 17 in the northwest.

Meanwhile, in Quebec thousands of people have been evacuated as the wildfire tally climbs to 150. Top Stories

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