Sioux Lookout residents are advised of a Special Air Quality Statement in effect for their area.

Environment Canada says smoke from nearby forest fires has resulted in deteriorated air quality and high levels of air pollution, which is harmful to everyone’s health – especially those most at risk.

People with lung disease, heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people and people who work outdoors are all advised to stop or reduce their activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or they start to feel unwell.

Mild disruption and discomfort are ordinary and usually disappear when the smoke clears, and drinking lots of water will help. A well-fitted respirator mask can also assist those working outdoors, but will not completely eliminate smoke exposure.

Residents are asked to contact their healthcare provider or a local health authority if they develop severe symptoms from the smoke.

In the meantime, Environment Canada is encouraging everyone to reduce sources of indoor air pollution – including smoking, vaping, incense or candles, frying foods, using wood stoves and vacuuming.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Service is reporting a total of 36 active forest fires in the region, with 12 of them considered not under control.

The region’s forest fire hazard remains mostly high to extreme in the western half of the region, with areas of low to moderate hazard across the eastern half. A Restricted Fire Zone remains in place.