Residents living in western Manitoba are experiencing a smoke-filled sky today, and there is a chance those conditions could trickle into this part of the province. 

Environment Canada says elevated pollution levels are occurring as the result of forest fires. Conditions will improve through the day on Wednesday as a cold front pushes southwards and brings a brisk northerly wind to the area.

As of Tuesday at 2:30 pm, this public weather alert was for areas west of Treherne and north to The Pas. According to Environment Canada, this special air quality statement may need to be expanded into the Red River Valley if favourable conditions develop later this evening.

The smoke may have limited impact on visibilities and will move gradually with subtle wind shifts across the region. Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk. In these current conditions, even healthy individuals may experience sore eyes, tears, coughing and a runny nose.

In areas affected by smoke from wildland fires, Manitobans are encouraged to:

  • limit outdoor activity and/or strenuous physical activity; if breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity
  • reduce exposure to smoke by staying indoors or moving to areas with cleaner air, as conditions can vary dramatically by area
  • turn off furnaces and air-conditioning units that may draw smoke indoors
  • keep indoor air cleaner by avoiding smoking or burning other materials

People at higher risk include young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with heart or lung conditions (particularly asthma), and therefore should avoid as much exposure to smoke as possible.

Manitobans with health questions or concerns can contact their health-care provider or call Health Links - Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or toll-free at 1-888-315-9257. More information on the health effects of smoke is available at