A special air quality statement is in effect for Wood Buffalo.
Environment Canada says smoke from wildfires burning in British Columbia is drifting into our region.
They note smoke will reduce visibility, but it’s expected to clear out as a cold front moves through later today.
Information Officer for the Fort McMurray Forest Area Lynn Daina tells Mix News smoke is also coming from the North West Territories and a fire burning on the border of the Fort McMurray Forest Area and Slave Lake Forest area.
She says there are about a dozen wildfires burning in our region right now, including one that sparked yesterday approximately 23 kilometers west of Fort McKay. Air tankers, helicopters, and crews are fighting the blaze that’s about 34.8 hectares in size.
Daina adds the fires pose no threat to Fort McMurray.
A Fire Advisory has been issued for the Fort McMurray Forest Area section of the Forest Protection Area due to current and forecast weather. Under this advisory, all existing permits will be canceled (including burn barrels) and no new permits will be issued.
Until the smoke clears out, Environment Canada says people may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
For any health related questions, you can call Health Link at 866-408-5465.