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Westerly winds are pushing large amounts of smoke from British Columbia wildfires across the prairies.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for much of southern Manitoba as a result.

The smoke is expected to continue until a cold front pushes through the region.

From Environment Canada:

The cold front will move through western Saskatchewan Tuesday morning, and then slump southeastwards, moving through eastern Saskatchewan by Tuesday evening, and then across southern Manitoba on Tuesday night. As the cold front passes, cleaner air will move in from the north.

For many areas, this event will be seen by very hazy skies with moderately elevated AQHI values in the 4 to 7 range. However, due to local effects, some areas will see significant reductions in air quality, with AQHI values exceeding 7 (high) and potentially exceeding 10 (very high).

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.

Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn't air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

The regions in grey are currently affected: