Air quality for Kingston area expected to improve over coming day

The view of Kingston City Hall from the Wolfe Island Ferry seems a little foggy as smoke from wildfires in northwestern Ontario settles in over Kingston. Photo by Daniel Tastard Homer.

Environment Canada has issued an updated Special Air Quality Statement for the Kingston area, advising that smoky skies as a result of the wild fires in northwestern Ontario continue to be an issue, but are expected to improve soon.

The updated statement was issued on Monday, Jul. 26, 2021 at approximately 3:30 p.m. Environment Canada originally issued a Special Air Quality Statement for the area on Sunday, Jul. 25, 2021, the second such event since the smoke from the wildfires began to travel and reach other areas of the province.

“High levels of air pollution due to smoke from forest fires are possible tonight into Tuesday. Smoke plumes may move over central and eastern Ontario from forest fires in northwestern Ontario. Air quality may deteriorate if the smoke descends to ground level,” Environment Canada said in the Statement on Monday, Jul. 26, 2021.

“Conditions are expected to improve on Tuesday.”

The national weather agency advises those who are exposed to wildfire smoke to “consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can be harmful to your health,” as well as consulting the government website regarding wildfire smoke.

“Individuals 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,” Environment Canada said, noting that the website provides information on how to reduce health risks.

Smoke in the air can also lead to reduced visibility, Environment Canada said, so residents are advised to exercise caution when driving or walking during this time.

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