The reason behind that smokey smell in Burlington 

Published June 6, 2023 at 6:06 pm

There is no great mystery behind that smokey smell that has been permeating through Burlington today (June 6).

The wildfires currently burning in parts of Quebec and Northern Ontario are behind the smell and also the cloudy nature of the skies.

The fires, even though they are happening hundreds of miles away, are affecting the air quality in Burlington and neighbouring towns and cities prompting health warnings through the area.

Environment Canada says poor air quality with “moderate to high-risk air quality health index values” may persist throughout the day and into tomorrow.

“Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour,” Environment Canada says.

Wildfire smoke can be harmful to anyone, even at low concentrations. The risks are higher for older adults, children, pregnant women, people with lung and heart diseases and people who work outdoors. People concerned about poor air quality should speak with their doctor.

Environment Canada says mild irritation and discomfort are common amongst those exposed to smoke, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.

Drinking lots of water can help mitigate some harmful effects.

“If you have an HVAC system in your home, use the highest rated MERV filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly. You can also use a portable High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaner. Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable,” the weather agency said.

Those who must spend time outdoors can wear a respirator mask such as an N95 or equivalent to filter out smoke.

Residents are advised to avoid smoking or vaping, burning incense or candles, frying foods, using wood stoves or vacuuming outdoors.

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