News and Press Releases

Unofficial translation

Press release
Broadcast code CNW 01

Forest fires and deteriorating air quality

Call for vigilance to protect your health

Quebec City, June 5, 2023 – In light of the many active forest fires in Quebec and their effects on air quality, Public Health is issuing a call for vigilance and reminding people of certain important instructions to follow.

The public must remain attentive to public notices and regional alerts concerning smog and ambient air quality. At present, smoke plumes are more prevalent in municipalities close to major active fires. However, depending on wind direction, over the next few hours, smoke plumes will reach several regions and major cities in Quebec, some of them far from the fires. Smoky odours and cloudy skies mean that air quality is affected.

Smoke from forest fires can affect the health of people of all ages, especially those with asthma, heart problems or respiratory conditions such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

In the presence of smoke

In areas affected by plumes of smoke, to reduce your exposure, we recommend that you:

  • close windows in homes, living environments including day-care centers, schools and workplaces, and avoid using ventilation systems with outside air exchangers;
  • limit outdoor activities (sports and work)

People concerned about their health or that of a loved one can contact Info- Santé by dialing 811. For medical emergencies, dial 911.


“The current situation is worrying. It requires us to be attentive to public notices and alerts regarding the presence of smoke or air quality. We recommend that the entire population follow instructions to protect their health from the effects of smoke, especially for the most vulnerable people, those with lung or heart problems.”

Dr. Luc Boileau, National Director of Public Health

Highlights :

Catherine-De-Longpré Building 1075, chemin Sainte-Foy, 4th floor Québec (Québec) G1S 2M1 Telephone: 418 266-8914

Fax: 418 266-8945

  • Note that a deterioration in air quality could affect the following regions in particular: Montréal, Montérégie, Outaouais, Laval, Laurentides and Lanaudière.
  • Exposure to smoke can cause the following symptoms:
    • Tingling eyes and watery eyes
    • Runny nose and sinus irritation
    • Sore throat and mild cough
    • headaches
  • The following symptoms are less common, but more severe, and may require medical attention:
    • Shortness of breath
    • Wheezing (including asthma attacks)
    • Severe cough
    • Dizziness
    • Chest pain
    • Heart palpitations

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Source :

Relations avec les médias
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux 418 266-8914

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