The NWT government and Environment Canada are warning residents in Fort Smith and the Salt River First Nation Reserve about smoke exposure from wildfires in Alberta.
In a Tuesday public health advisory, the NWT chief public health officer said smoke exposure can cause sore eyes, tears, cough, throat irritation, headaches, and runny nose. Anyone experiencing serious symptoms including wheezing, chest discomfort or shortness of breath is advised to seek medical attention.
Young children; the elderly; people with diabetes, lung or heart conditions; and potentially pregnant people are at risk of more severe health impacts.
Exposure to smoke is highest in outdoor workers and others who are physically active outdoors.
The advisory states that people can reduce their exposure to smoke by avoiding strenuous outdoor activities and staying indoors with the windows and doors closed.
Environment Canada monitors air quality in Fort Smith and provides guidance on outdoor activities. It says wildfire smoke is currently causing poor air quality and reduced visibility in the region.
Environment Canada says poor air quality due to wildfire smoke can vary considerably hour by hour.