Poor air quality and reduced visibility throughout Winnipeg are due to fires burning across the province.

Scattered across the province are fires burning both in and out of control. The days of smokey conditions are making their way to the capital city, resulting in Environment Canada issuing a special air quality statement.

"As winds shift to northerly tonight, widespread smoke is likely to push into all of southern Manitoba, dispersing somewhat on Thursday except in areas closer to the fires," they say.

This will affect air quality and visibility Wednesday night in the southern half of the province.

"If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health."

Those most sensitive include infants and pregnant people, older adults, those with COVID-19, and others sensitive to smoke such as those with chronic illnesses. 

Environment Canada is advising people to:

  • limit outdoor activity and/or strenuous physical activity; if breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity
  • reduce exposure to smoke by staying indoors or moving to areas with cleaner air, as conditions can vary dramatically by area
  • turn off furnaces and air-conditioning units that may draw smoke indoors
  • keep indoor air cleaner by avoiding smoking or burning other materials

Rain is set to hit the southern part of the province overnight, including areas such as Steinbach and Lorette, which could get a severe thunderstorm. Winnipeg is not under a severe thunderstorm watch.