An air quality alert was issued Saturday as smoke from wildfires burning in Northern Ontario and Quebec makes its way to Bruce Peninsula.
Visible smoke was reported in various parts of Bruce Peninsula, with fire departments at north, south, and half-way points of the region receiving these calls. The smell of smoke or burning plastic is also noticeable, according to fire officials.
A special air quality statement was issued by Environment Canada for areas around Bruce Peninsula, Sauble Beach, and Tobermory. The weather agency said high levels of air pollution are present due to wildfire smoke coming in from the northeast.
"Smoke from wildfires is combination of gases and fine particles from burning trees and plant material. Wildfire smoke can impact your health even at very low levels. If you are experiencing the effects of wildfire smoke, please stay indoors with windows and doors closed. If symptoms persist, or become severe, then please seek medical assistance." says Northern Bruce Peninsula Fire Chief Jack Burt.
Early symptoms of smoke inhalation often include mild irritation and discomfort, and usually disappear after the smoke clears. People with lung disease, heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and those who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing these side effects.
A fire ban remains in place for Bruce County with the Fire Danger Rating considered Extreme. The only fires allowed are campfires for cooking and/or warmth. They must be supervised at all times and put out immediately after their purpose has been served.
Environment Canada urges area residents to drink plenty of water, keep doors and windows closed, and clean and circulate air in your home if possible.
For more information on wildfire smoke health and safety tips, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.