Smoky conditions are expected to cause air quality issues for Moose Jaw and most of Saskatchewan throughout the weekend. 

With that comes the health risks of inhaling wildfire smoke. Those with respiratory illnesses such as COPD and asthma and existing cardiovascular illness may find their symptoms will worsen when the air quality is poor. Children and the elderly are also at risk. 

Some of the symptoms to watch out for include irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, increased mucus production in the nose and throat, coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath and difficulty breathing especially during exercise. 

However, Medical Health Officer Dr. Stanley Enebeli said everyone, not just those at high risk, should monitor for symptoms. 

"If individuals are experiencing symptoms, they can also call the Healthline at 811 to speak to a registered nurse and Healthline 811 is open 24 hours a day,” he said. 

Enebeli said there are precautions you can take to help reduce the chance of symptoms occurring such as closing all outside windows and doors and reducing your levels of physical activity as necessary to decrease the inhalation of airborne particles. 

You shouldn’t smoke cigarettes under these conditions as it will put extra stress on your lungs and drink lots of water to keep your mouth and nose moist. 

"If you do have HEPA filters, which are the high-efficiency particle air filters, please turn them on to help purify the air," Enebeli said. 

He also recommended not burning any type of wood in stoves or firepits or lighting candles under these conditions. You should turn down furnaces and fans to a minimum setting and turn off any fans that could bring smoky air inside. 

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