Forest fires in Saskatchewan leave haze over Winnipeg

A number of fires burning along in Saskatchewan have left the sky over Winnipeg hazy.

Hazy, smoky skies in Winnipeg due to winds blowing smoke from forest fires in nearby provinces

RAW: Winnipeggers choke on smoke from Saskatchewan forest fires

6 years ago
Some Winnipeggers had trouble breathing Monday due to forest fires raging just west of Manitoba in Saskatchewan. 0:36

A number of fires burning along in Saskatchewan have left the sky over Winnipeg hazy.

According to Environment Canada, a west wind is pushing smoke from fires burning in Saskatchewan into Manitoba.

A number of smaller fires are burning near the border between Saskatchewan and Manitoba, but bigger forest fires are burning in central Saskatchewan.
A smoky haze sat over Winnipeg Monday after smoke from forest fires in Saskatchewan blew into the city. (Trevor Brine/CBC)

Winnipeg's air quality rating was upgraded to a "moderate risk" on Monday afternoon. That was expected to continue into Monday night.

"Even if the general population is not affected, the very young, the very old, some health conditions like, you know if you have lung disease or cardiovascular issues, obviously having smoke in the air is not good," said Natalie Hasell, a meteorologist with Environment Canada. "Most people can probably still enjoy their outdoor activities, but it's kind of borderline."

The Manitoba Lung Association's Margaret Bernhardt-Lowdon said the smoke may have people with asthma or cardiovascular conditions struggling to breathe.

She said people with breathing problems should stay indoors.

"Turn on the air-conditioning. Make sure your windows and doors are shut. Make sure you are cool, so drink lots of cold liquids. Water is the best bet and take your medication as prescribed," Bernhardt-Lowdon said.

She said to keep an eye on people at risk for warning signs they may need to go to a hospital.

"If their medication isn't working when it normally does, if they're very short of breath and having chest pains they should definitely go," she said.

Melanie Zebrynski has asthma and said she couldn't function properly because of breathing problems.

"It just made my chest really tight with my asthma. I've had to use my puffer twice as much as normal," said Zebrynski. "It's really hard to breathe."

Ima Ekanem said she was caught off guard by all of the smoke.

"I've been coughing a lot today, because I've been out running errands," said Ekanem.

CBC Meteorologist John Sauder said winds will change tomorrow, and the skies should clear then.

This Natural Resources Canada map shows hotspots (fires) that have been burning in the past 24 hours. A number of fires have been burning near the Saskatchewan-Manitoba border, sending smoky wind into Manitoba. (Natural Resources Canada)


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