Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

You can protect yourself from health risks related to wildfire smoke.

During forest fire season, you may notice wildfire smoke in your community. This happens all over the country. In Newfoundland and Labrador, forest fire season is in effect from May 1st to September 30th on the island and May 15th to September 30th in Labrador.



How to know if you’re at risk

Exposure to wildfire smoke can impact your health. In Canada, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) from Environment Canada tells you about the health risk from local air pollution and how you can protect your health.

The AQHI is broken into four risk categories: low, moderate, high and very high. The AQHI explains how you can protect yourself against wildfire smoke.

Some people have a higher risk of health problems when exposed to wildfire smoke, including:

  • Seniors
  • Pregnant people
  • People who smoke
  • Infants and children
  • People who work outdoors
  • People doing strenuous outdoor activity
  • People with existing illnesses/conditions such as cancer, diabetes, lung or heart conditions

To learn more about the AQHI visit: Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), Environment Canada. 

How to protect yourself

The best way to protect yourself and your family from wildfire smoke is by reducing your exposure:

  • Use care when spending time outdoors during a wildfire smoke event, check the AQHI and special air quality statements
  • Keep the air in your home clean by keeping windows and doors closed
  • If it is too warm and you do not have air conditioning, find clean and air conditioned public buildings like a mall or library

Services related to this information:

  • 811 HealthLine (Newfoundland & Labrador) – Call 811 or 1-888-709-2929 / TTY 1-888-709-3555
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Last updated: 2023-08-18