Smog warning blankets Montreal as wildfires continue in Quebec |

As forest fires rage on, smog warnings and air quality statements were in effect early Friday for a large swath of Quebec, including Montreal.

Environment Canada said “high concentrations of fine particulate matter” due to ongoing wildfires will result in poor air quality throughout the day.

Hazy conditions and smoke are expected in several areas, including Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Gatineau, Lanaudière, and the Laurentians.

“Smog especially affects asthmatic children and people with respiratory ailments or heart disease,” the weather agency said. “It is therefore recommended that these individuals avoid intense physical activity outdoors until the smog warning is lifted.

Montreal’s public health department said exposure to smoke includes symptoms such as itchy eyes, sore throat, headache and a mild cough. It recommends staying indoors, closing the windows, turning off the air exchanger and avoiding outside physical activity during periods of smog.

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Anyone who is concerned about their health can contact the 811 health hotline or call 911 for medical emergencies.

The smog warnings come as wildfires continue in northern and western Quebec, where both local firefighters and support from abroad are working to put out the flames.

The province’s forest fire prevention agency, known as SOPFEU, reported 104 active fires Friday. Of those blazes, 22 were classified as out of control.

— with files from The Canadian Press

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