Air Quality concerns with forest fires burning in Northern Ontario

2 Smog and Air Health Advisory; 12 Special Air Quality Statements have been issued by MECP Ontario

With wildfires still burning in Northern Ontario how many advisories have been issued when it comes to smog and air?

The answer two Smog and Air Health Advisory’s for areas in southern Ontario and twelve Special Air Quality Statements; five of those statements were due to forest fire smoke in central and northern Ontario.

In an email, the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks says smog and air health advisories are air quality forecasts based on weather information. Ontario’s Air Quality Health Index includes a two-level alert system that we issue in coordination with Environment and Climate Change Canada.

The levels are…

Level 1 – Special Air Quality Statement

  • Informs the public of the potential for degrading air quality and is issued if an air quality health index of 7 or higher is expected to last for 1 or 2 hours.
  • Is also issued for areas where forest fire smoke is expected to cause deteriorating air quality.

Level 2 Smog and Air Health Advisory,

  • Issued when Air Quality Health Index of 7 or greater is expected to be persistent and continue for 3 hours or more.

More facts and figures from the MECP

  • Air pollution has decreased over the past 10 years
  • 12% decrease in fine particulate matter
  • 30% in nitrogen dioxide
  • Most recent Special Air Quality Statement lasted from July 28th-August 3rd
  • No air quality advisory has been issued for Barrie since the Air Quality Health Index began in Ontario in 2015