News / Winnipeg

Wildfire smoke spreads to Manitoba: Environment Canada

Meanwhile, residents near Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta have been told to evacuate.

A fire crew member rakes up dead grass near the town of Waterton, Alta. in this undated handout photo. A popular national park in the southwestern corner of Alberta was under a mandatory evacuation order Friday because a forecasted shift in wind was expected to heighten the wildfire danger. Waterton Lakes National Park said the order covered the townsite and all other areas of the park except for Highways 5 and 6 and the Chief Mountain border crossing into the United States.

Nicholas Alexander / Unknown CP

A fire crew member rakes up dead grass near the town of Waterton, Alta. in this undated handout photo. A popular national park in the southwestern corner of Alberta was under a mandatory evacuation order Friday because a forecasted shift in wind was expected to heighten the wildfire danger. Waterton Lakes National Park said the order covered the townsite and all other areas of the park except for Highways 5 and 6 and the Chief Mountain border crossing into the United States.

It's looking a little hazier than usual in parts of Manitoba, as smoke has drifted into the province from wildfire ripping through southern Alberta.

Environment Canada is warning that smoke is reducing visibility and air quality in southern Manitoba, including Winnipeg, Steinbach and Grand Beach.

Westerly winds are bringing the haze and will continue doing so until a cold front cuts through the area. The chillier air is expected to move through western Saskatchewan Tuesday morning, into the eastern part of the province Tuesday evening and then to Manitoba Tuesday night.

Smoky air can produce health problems – even for healthy individuals – including, sore eyes, tears, coughing and a runny nose. People with heart or lung conditions are at a higher risk, as well as children, the elderly and pregnant women.

Environment Canada is cautioning Manitobans on the following:

- limit outdoor activity and/or strenuous physical activity; if breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity
- reduce exposure to smoke by staying indoors or moving to areas with cleaner air, as conditions can vary dramatically by area
- turn off furnaces and air-conditioning units that may draw smoke indoors
- keep indoor air cleaner by avoiding smoking or burning other materials

Manitobans with health questions or concerns can contact their health-care provider or call Health Links – Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257. More information on the health effects of smoke is available online.

Meanwhile, residents near Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta have been told to evacuate the area due to a looming wildfire.

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