Wildfire smoke prompts Sahtu health advisory

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A public health advisory has been issued for Norman Wells and Fort Good Hope over poor air quality related to smoke from nearby wildfires.

The NWT's health authority said other nearby communities could also be affected by the smoke depending on the weather.

On Tuesday, smoke modelling software projected much of the smoke would be coming from a wildfire 90 km east of Tsiigehtchic which has grown rapidly in recent days.

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Wind direction is expected to change several times in the coming days, driving smoke from that fire farther to the east and north, while some smoke from Alaska's wildfires is also entering the region.

How the Tsiigehtchic wildfire has progressed since it formed, captured by satellite imagery

How the Tsiigehtchic wildfire has progressed since it formed, captured by satellite imagery. Copernicus EMS

Symptoms of exposure to smoke include sore eyes, tears, coughing, and runny nose, the health advisory stated.

If symptoms progress to the point of wheezing, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath, people are encouraged to visit their health centre.

Children, the elderly, and people who are pregnant are at a higher risk of more severe health impacts, as are people living with diabetes, lung, or heart conditions.

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The health authority recommends staying indoors with the windows closed and avoiding being active outdoors to reduce exposure.

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