Wildfire smoke, air quality and your health: Overview

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Get up-to-date information about the air quality in your community:

About wildfire smoke events

Wildfire emergency

If your community is threatened by an approaching wildfire, your local health or emergency authorities will provide advice to protect your health. Be prepared to evacuate at any time. If told to evacuate, do so immediately.

Some communities across Canada regularly experience wildfire smoke events. This is expected to continue as Canada's changing climate provides ideal conditions for more frequent wildfires and longer wildfire seasons. Wildfire season typically runs from early April to late October.

As wildfires burn through forests and grasslands, they produce smoke. Smoke from wildfires in forests and grasslands can be a major source of air pollution for people in Canada.

Wildfire smoke may be carried thousands of kilometres from the fire zone. This means smoke can impact air quality in areas close to and far from the wildfire.

How to check the air quality during wildfire smoke events

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a scale from 1 to 10+ designed to help you understand what the air quality around you means to your health. The higher the number, the greater the health risk associated with the air quality.

Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) continually updates and reports air quality conditions and the AQHI in many locations.

In addition, ECCC issues special air quality statements and air quality advisories in all communities during wildfire smoke events.

During wildfire smoke events, pay attention to:

This information can be found on:

These will help you decide whether you should modify your outdoor activities or take other measures to protect your health and the health of others in your care.

Learn more about air quality and how the weather affects wildfire smoke.

Contact us

For more information, please contact us:

Email: air@hc-sc.gc.ca
Telephone: 1-833-223-1014 (toll free)

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