Due to the continuing forest fires in Canada, Montreal is currently the city with the worst air quality worldwide. With smog warnings issued in multiple regions of Quebec.
Montreal became the city worldwide with the worst air quality on Sunday because of the widespread forest fires throughout Canada.
The air quality in Quebec’s most populous city was declared unhealthy by IQAir, a global company that monitors air pollution. The city was covered in acrid smoke.
Smog Warnings for Several Quebec Regions
The Canadian Environmental Agency issued smog warnings for several regions of Quebec. The high concentration of particulate matter leads to poor air quality and reduced visibility. The agency advised the public against outdoor activities and recommended the use of masks for people who must leave their homes. Smog is expected to last until Monday morning.
Swimming pools and sports facilities have been closed. Numerous outdoor events such as concerts and sporting competitions have been canceled due to smog. “It’s like a fog, only it’s smoke from the wildfires. It’s really hard to breathe, and it stings the eyes a bit,” said 18-year-old Fauve Lepage Vallee, who complained about the cancellation of a festival she was planning to attend.
Forest Fires Continue Spreading
Currently, 80 forest fires are flaming in the province of Quebec, according to the local fire department. Several of them continued to spread over the weekend due to dryness and high temperatures.
The intense smoke “makes it very difficult for water bombers and helicopters to do a good job,” the department said. However, significant amounts of rain are expected in the northwest of the province on either Monday or Tuesday. On Wednesday, 119 French firefighters are expected to land in Quebec. They will relieve their compatriots who have been assisting the Canadian firefighters since the beginning of June.
Unprecedented Forest Fires
According to the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre (CIFFC), there are over 450 active fires throughout Canada, with an estimated 240 of them out of control.
This year, Canada is experiencing forest fires of an unprecedented magnitude. More than 7.4 million hectares have been burned since the beginning of January. According to experts, one of the causes of these fires is climate change.