Forest fire smoke may pose health risk

Forest fire smoke may pose health risk

17 September 2006

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Canada — New Brunswick health officials have warned that smoke from forest fires in northwestern Ontario could pose a health risk for people in the Maritime province.

Dr. Wayne MacDonald, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer, says the smoke has so far stayed overhead, but weather conditions could bring it down to ground level.

MacDonald says that could cause problems for high-risk groups, such as people with breathing problems, and he’s urging them to stay inside as much as possible.

MacDonald says healthy people could also experience irritated eyes, sinuses and respiratory systems.

With a relatively calm weekend forecast, Environment Canada predicts the smoke will stay in the region until at least tomorrow.

Fire officials in northwestern Ontario said 24 new fires were reported Friday, the majority in the southern regions of Thunder Bay and Nipigon districts.

About 250 fires continue to burn or smoulder over more than 1,000 square kilometres.


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