A special air quality alert from Environment Canada remains in place for central Saskatchewan. Smoke from northern wildfires has become concentrated as a cold front brings northerly winds. The smoke is being dragged in thicker bands through most of Southern Saskatchewan. 

Air Quality Health Index values of 10 plus in the high extreme range are occurring as visibility becomes reduced.

People with lung disease (such as asthma) 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. Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. 

Environment Canada advises to Check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and monitor your symptoms. People respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears. Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke.

Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air.

If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke. These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms.

Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke. Please call HealthLine 811 for advice on health risks, symptoms and precautions associated with air quality.

For updates from Environment Canada, check the weather tab on DiscoverHumboldt.com.