Skip to main content

Air quality concerns mount as the smell of smoke fills the air in Simcoe County and Muskoka

Residents in Simcoe County and Muskoka are advised to be cautious as forest fires in Quebec impact the air quality, prompting a special statement from Environment Canada.

The national weather agency says high levels of air pollution are possible due to smoke from the fires in Quebec and could result in deteriorated air quality throughout most of the week.

Quebec has been grappling with a severe forest fire season, characterized by a high number of wildfires stretching across vast stretches of forested areas, producing large volumes of smoke that winds can carry over long distances.

The City of Barrie issued an air quality statement Tuesday due to the haze settling over the region, noting the fire department is receiving an increase in calls about the smell of smoke.

"If there is no actual visible smoke or flames issuing from a vehicle or structure, consider the smell is possibly that of wildfire smoke in the air," the City stated in a release.

Environment Canada warns people with lung disease, asthma, heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant women, and those working outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

The weather agency recommends staying indoors with the windows closed when possible and using an air purifier with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter. Top Stories

Rideau Hall apologizes for honouring Nazi veteran, Trudeau 'carefully' considering unsealing records

Rideau Hall is apologizing for the historic appointment of a man who fought for a Nazi unit in the Second World War, to the Order of Canada. Now, Gov. Gen. Mary Simon's office says it is examining two subsequent medals granted in the last two decades. This, as Jewish advocacy groups say the recent and resurfacing recognitions further make their case for the need to unseal Holocaust-related records.

Canada-India tensions: How we got here and what's at stake

In the past month, Canada has accused the Indian government of being involved in a murder on Canadian soil and India has ordered Canada to remove most of its diplomats from the country. Here's how the two countries got to this point, as well as what's at stake if tensions don't ease.

Stay Connected