The World Forum - April 19th, 2024

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NOT SATIRE: With wildfire smoke in the forecast for Toronto, is it time to bring back masks?


Smoke from wildfires raging in Quebec is expected to blanket Toronto for much of the week, prompting a special air quality statement for the city and warnings of possible “high levels” of pollution.

With some Toronto residents already reporting the smell of smoke and conditions expected to worsen, experts say those in affected areas should consider wearing a mask and taking other precautions to reduce exposure.

Toronto’s air quality health index was at a level 5 midday Tuesday, indicating a “moderate risk” to health. Environment Canada’s national wildfire smoke model forecasts air pollution to worsen in the region as the week progresses with significant amounts of smoke predicted for Thursday afternoon.

Environment Canada and the Province of Ontario had issued a special air quality statement for the region earlier in the day, warning of smoke from the forest fires throughout much of the week.