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Windsor's air quality impacted by wildfires across the country

Smoky skies in Windsor, Ont. on Tuesday, June 3, 2023. (Gary Archibald/CTV News Windsor) Smoky skies in Windsor, Ont. on Tuesday, June 3, 2023. (Gary Archibald/CTV News Windsor)

Smoke from wildfires burning across Canada is beginning to cause poor air quality in Windsor.

“The southwestern Ontario region is being impacted by the smoke currently. A large portion of it is in the upper air,” explained Monica Vaswani, warning preparedness meteorologist for Environment and Climate Change Canada.

“Because of the wind direction and the current forecast that's expected for much of southern Ontario over the next week, more likely than not, we're expecting to see persistent conditions that will allow for deteriorating air quality.”

Vaswani says the smoke will become an issue when it starts to make its way down to the surface, such as the hazy conditions currently in Quebec and parts of Ontario.

Typically the cause of special air quality statements in Windsor is ozone.

“That usually happens in the summer when we have an area of high pressure that basically allows for stagnant air,” Vaswani explains.

In the case of ozone, conditions improve at night with traffic winding down on the roads. However, when poor air is caused by smoke from forest fires, there will be no reprieve at night from the pollution.

“With forest fires, we should have that pollutant readily available during the day and the night, so you don't get the same sort of reprieve. That would be one thing to consider with respect to the different health impacts,” said Vaswani.

Windsor’s air quality index is around five on Tuesday, which is a moderate health risk.

“For those vulnerable populations, even a moderate risk could sometimes be detrimental to your health,” said Vaswani. Top Stories

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