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Slight improvement to Windsor-Essex air quality expected heading into weekend

Air quality continues to be a concern across many parts of Canada, but the air quality index is dropping in Windsor-Essex.

On Thursday, the air quality index posted on the government of Canada website listed Windsor-Essex between four and six, down from a peak of eight Wednesday.

“An air quality index of eight is not good for anybody despite your medical history or medical circumstances. One should not be exposed to that kind of air for a prolonged period of time,” said CTV Windsor meteorologist Gary Archibald, noting it’s not nearly as visibly bad as Toronto or New York, but still not very good.

“The fine particulate matter, that ash that's in the air, the smoke filled air will continue to penetrate our airspace because of the wind setup,” said Archibald.

A full slate of events is planned for this weekend, including LaSalle’s annual Strawberry Festival, Ribs and Ragtime in Amherstburg, Meet a Machine in Windsor and the city’s birthday celebrations. As of Thursday, the mayor’s office indicates the celebrations are still a go, but they’re monitoring the situation and will adjust accordingly if necessary.

According to the local health unit, when air quality is poor people — especially those more vulnerable — should avoid prolonged outdoor activities.

”Minimize the amount of time you’re out and what you’re doing,” Dr. John Granton of the University Health Network told CTV News. “You shouldn’t be exercising and running if the air quality index is extremely high and you should be indoors as much as possible.”

People with lung and heart conditions are most affected by air pollution.

But even healthy people can struggle to breathe when the index is high.

If you were planning on having a camp fire in your back yard this weekend, think again. The municipalities of Amherstburg and Chatham-Kent have issued an open burn ban due to dry conditions and the poor air quality.

While the wildfires in Quebec rage on it’s believed relief from the haze locally is on the horizon in the coming days.

“I'm anticipating that we'll see a bit of improvement, but still be in that air quality range of a seven or eight,” said Archibald. “So we're not out of the woods just yet.” Top Stories


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