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Ottawa Air Quality Rising to “Very High Risk” Again Due to Forest Fires

  • Air condition in Ottawa, Canada. Jun. 26, 2023.

    Air condition in Ottawa, Canada. Jun. 26, 2023. | Photo: Twitter/@ctvottawa

Published 26 June 2023

"...two out of the four major festivals in Ottawa have cancelled events..."

On Sunday, Environment Canada stated that the air quality level had reached a “very high risk” on the federal air quality index's level in Ottawa, Canada. Many activities have been cancelled due to the dangerous respiratory situation in the province.


Canada Records 10 New Wildfires

"High levels of air pollution have developed due to smoke from forest fires. Smoke plumes from forest fires in Quebec have moved into the area, resulting in deteriorated air quality," said Environment Canada in a special air quality statement.

According to official reports, organizers of two out of the four major festivals in Ottawa have cancelled events, while the City of Ottawa has also cancelled its outdoor programs and close wading pools and outdoor pools.

Due to several citizens and government concerns over air quality, the Summer Solstice Indigenous Festival on West Hunt Club ended a day earlier than scheduled. The organizers assured attendees who were worried about the air quality and chose not to participate in the activities would be reimbursed.

On Monday night, according to official statistics, air quality readings are expected to drop to level 7, which is still a high risk, returning to a moderate risk at.

On Saturday morning, the Minister of Public Security announced that the current weather conditions could worsen forest fires in Quebec and spark new ones.

According to an official statement from the ministry, several parts of the province are currently experiencing a flammability index ranging from "very high" to "extreme," indicating a significant risk of burning. The heightened risk is attributed to decreased levels of precipitation and rising temperatures, which have intensified the threat of forest fires.

Quebec's forest fire agency, SOPFEU, is currently engaged in combatting 81 fires across the province, with 25 of them being classified as out of control. Presently, the agency has prioritized its resources towards managing 43 fires.

On Thursday, Canada's Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair confirmed that there are 416 wildfires in Canada, 213 of which are out of control.


Bill Blair
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