Special air quality statement issued for Yellowknife as fires rage

The smoke-filled sky turned orange just before a huge thunderstorm hit Yellowknife, Northwest...

The smoke-filled sky turned orange just before a huge thunderstorm hit Yellowknife, Northwest Territories Wednesday night. (Sarah Elsasser/@SassoYK)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:18 PM ET

Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement Sunday morning for Yellowknife as wild fires continued to burn around Great Slave Lake.

"Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath," the agency said on its site. "Children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease such as asthma are especially at risk."

Environment Canada said the Air Quality Health Index reached 12 Sunday. It explained that "the higher the number, the greater the health risk associated with the air quality. When the amount of air pollution is very high, the number will be reported as 10+."

Some Yellowknife residents have remained calm and cheerful through the ordeal.

"There is calm, sun, laughter and a thin film of smoke at Blachford. Girl power drum circle even brought on rain. All is well. #nwtfires," Laurie Sarkadi tweeted last week.

Francois Rossouw posted: "Some smoke Eh? No worries - tomorrow we all gonna smell like moose hide. Yum."


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