Most of Manitoba under air quality advisories due to wildfires
Smoky conditions expected to persist for a few days depending on wind direction
Smoky conditions caused by forest fires have prompted Environment Canada to issue air quality advisories for parts of Manitoba.
A special air quality statement is in effect for most of the province, with the exception of some regions in northern Manitoba.
Environment Canada says that numerous forest fires in northwestern Ontario and eastern Manitoba are causing poor visibility and air pollution across much of the province. The smoke is expected to persist until at least Tuesday, causing very poor air quality at times, the weather agency says.
These conditions can cause sore eyes, tears, coughing and a runny nose, even in otherwise healthy individuals.
When the smoke lets up depends largely on wind direction.
To minimize the risks, the weather agency is advising Manitobans to stay indoors or limit outdoor activity, and turning off furnaces and air conditioning units that may bring smoke indoors.
The smoke was so bad in Winnipeg Monday it prompted the Manitoba Soccer Association to cancel all its games.
"We actually had a session with one of our instructors and he came back and said, 'You know what? I can't even breathe out there," said Hector Vergara, the association's executive director.
Meanwhile, the province has issued a travel ban for all areas east of Lake Winnipeg and north of Nopiming Provincial Park because of wildfires.
The travel ban starts Tuesday at 8 a.m.
Everyone except permanent residents, including cottage owners, won't be able to enter the area.
Permanent residents must also be ready to leave with an hour's notice, the province says.
A map of all areas affected can be found on the province's website.