ontario fires

Parts of Ontario are about to see some of the worst air quality in North America

A more-fierce-than-usual wildfire season is in full swing in Canada, with over 400 blazes actively raging across the country as of Sunday and many areas under a fire ban as authorities struggle to regain control.

While parts of the GTA are being considered at extreme risk for fire due to how easily a fire could start and how difficult it would be to control if it did, our main concerns here are much less serious than other parts of the province right now.

This includes one blaze just outside Ottawa, where residents have been forced to evacuate.

But Toronto is being impacted by the ongoing infernos in other, still very noticeable ways.

Hazy skies and strikingly red moons are making the city look stranger than usual, while deteriorating air quality has led Environment Canada to issue more than one special air quality statement in recent days, warning residents of potential adverse health effects.

The air is so bad from the smoke edging in from fires both locally and in Quebec that parts of Ontario actually have some of the most hazardous atmosphere in North America right now, and it is only expected to get worse as the week goes on.

The Weather Network wrote this morning that Ottawa, Montreal, and even people in the GTA should brace for "some of the worst air quality across North America" during the first part of this week as plumes travel.

EnviroCan echoed this in today's statement for Toronto, which notes "poor air quality with moderate to high risk AQHI values may persist through the day today and possibly into Tuesday for some areas." 

At the time of publication, Toronto has climbed to the 18th spot on world air quality ranking lists, with Mexico City and Detroit the only North American cities above it. Realtime air quality maps show swaths of Southern Ontario are likewise in the unhealthy range, while some weather apps are showing a forecast of "smoke" for certain cities.

For those who want to track the smoke, online forecast maps show how it is slated to track over the area in the coming days.

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