Environment Canada: smoke levels in Yellowknife pose high health risk

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Yellowknife, NWT – Smoke from nearby forest fires pushed Yellowknife past 10 out of 10 on the Air Quality Health Index Tuesday morning, resulting in high risk conditions.

That’s according to Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Brian Proctor with Environment Canada.

He says long-term weather patterns have allowed for favourable fire conditions.

“We’re really experiencing a severe drought across the southwestern portion of the N.W.T at this time. The amount of precipitation we’ve seen since May for Yellowknife has been less than 10% of what we would normally see during that timeframe so conditions are very favourable for severe forest fire situations and scenarios.”

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Proctor says at risk individuals, including those with heart and lung problems, should avoid strenuous activities outdoors.

Children and the elderly should also avoid any outdoor physical exertion.

He says even the general population should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation develop.

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