Nearly 150 active wildfires in Ontario causing poor air quality in Toronto

Jul 26 2021, 5:10 pm

Hazy skies have covered Toronto for days as hundreds of wildfires burn in northern Ontario.

According to the provincial forest fire map, there are 149 active wildfires raging across Ontario, 16 of which began yesterday.

Forty-two of the fires are listed as “not under control.” As of July 22, 2,940 people from five different First Nation communities had been evacuated from their homes.

Smoke from the wildfires has led Environment Canada to issue special air quality statements for Toronto for two straight days as “high levels” of air pollution persist.

Environment Canada meteorologist Weiqing Zhang told Daily Hive last week that it’s extremely rare for smoke to seep into the city from so far away.

Toronto is facing some of the worst air quality in the world — the city’s air is currently ranked the eighth-worst worldwide by IQAir.

According to the Air Quality Health Index, Toronto’s air quality will remain in the “moderate risk” category until at least Tuesday night.

Environment Canada warns that wildfire smoke can be harmful to people’s health. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung diseases are especially at risk.

Residents may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches, or shortness of breath.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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