Eight NWT communities under public health advisory due to Northern Alberta wildfires

A firefighting crew takes a break while fighting fires in Northern Alberta (Photo courtesy of Alberta Government)

Eight communities in the Northwest Territories are now under a public health advisory due to smoke exposure from wildfires in Alberta.

The advisory was issued Monday night by the NWT’s acting chief public health officer.

In a news release, it’s stated that  the amount of smoke may change due to weather conditions.

Indeed, there seems to be much less smoke in the air today than yesterday, at least in Yellowknife.

The advisory covers Yellowknife as well as Hay River, Behchoko, Dettah, Fort Providence, Kakisa, Enterprise and Fort Resolution.

Other communities are being monitored, according to the NWT department of health.

Exposure to smoke is highest in people who are physically active outdoors, including outdoor workers.

Exposure can quickly result in sore eyes, tears, cough and runny nose.

People at risk of more severe health impacts include young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with diabetes, lung or heart conditions.

You can reduce your exposure to smoke by avoiding strenuous outdoor activities and staying indoors with windows and doors closed.

Anyone experiencing serious symptoms such as wheezing, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath should go to their local health centre.

You can find additional information on the health effects of smoke at:  • https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/sites/hss/files/resources/smoke-warning-aug2018.pdf

• http://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/health/environmental-health/air-quality-forest-fire-smok e

• https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/sites/hss/files/wildfire-smoke-health.pdf

• https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-healt h-index.html

• http://weather.gc.ca/warnings/index_e.html

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.