Smoky haze from northern Ontario wildfires moving south

Smoke from wildfires reduces air quality on the Bruce Peninsula as seen at Stokes Bay. (Photo courtesy of Deb Witherspoon-Stockmann. August 1st, 2018)

Smoke from wildfires in northwestern Ontario is slowly making its way across southwestern Ontario and that could lead to hazy conditions Tuesday.

On Sunday, Environment Canada reported an increase in pollution values for Windsor-Essex, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton, London and Middlesex County, Oxford County, and Elgin County.

The weather agency said a smoky haze is also expected to continue moving into the region Tuesday.

According to Environment Canada Warning Preparedness Meteorologist Peter Kimbell, there will be reoccurring waves of “poorer air quality” for at least a week as a result of the smoke.

“We know that there are significant forest fires in northwestern Ontario that are pushing smoke across southwestern Ontario,” said Kimbell. “It won’t compare to what they are getting close to the fires but people may well smell it. However, it’s very possible over the next few days, you will see it.”

An air quality advisory was issued for a large stretch of the province from Toronto, north to Algonquin, and east to Kingston. The advisory has not been extended into the southwest but Kimbell said it’s quite possible that it could.

People could experience symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath.

“The concentrations of particulate matter are not expected to be as close to what they are in northern parts of Ontario,” said Kimbell. “People shouldn’t be unduly worried, but it’s possible the advisory may be extended.”