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By: Jessica Jin

Regions across Canada are now facing very poor air quality from wildfires. These dangerous levels of air quality can pose a risk to people’s health.

Wildfires have broken out throughout Canada at an unusually high rate, starting this early summer. Climate change has caused a dryer environment and made it more likely for wildfires to happen. With less moisture in the air, it is much harder to stop them from spreading. The fires become more dangerous and spread thick smoke that causes poor air quality.

The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) is a chart of measurement of air qualities around the world. To help communities to better understand the health of the air, government officials in Canada use the AQHI measurements. AQHI shows areas with more dangerous levels of air quality with darker colors. The darker the shade, the higher risk people will get sick outside. This gives an easy way for the public to understand how healthy the air is.

Canadian kids should be especially careful when going outside when there is poor air quality. This is because according to Environment Canada, children have a higher risk of getting sick from smoke than most adults. Kids’ respiratory and defense systems aren’t fully developed so they have a higher risk of getting sick. Guardians should watch out for dangerous levels of air quality when their children go outside.

The smoke from wildfires is unlikely to subside anytime soon so people should be careful when deciding to go outside or at least wear masks when going out. Even as firefighters work hard to contain the fires, they are almost impossible to completely stop. So people dealing with the poor air quality will just need to wait for fall or winter to help bring the wildfire season to an end.

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