Fort McMurray residents can expect more smoke from Timberlea fire

Fire in the Timberlea area is still classified as being held by municipal fire crews as of Thursday morning.

The fire was reported on Oct. 18 at roughly 3:00 pm in the wooded area west of McKinlay Crescent.

Crews have set up seven sprinkler systems to help suppress the fire while a bulldozer has been used to strengthen the fire barrier between the wooded area and residential buildings.

Helicopter bucket operations are expected to continue today along with further ground suppression.

Winds are expected to continue pushing smoke from the fire eastward into residential areas throughout the day.

According to Alberta Health Services, individuals exposed to wildfire smoke who are otherwise healthy may have the following symptoms when exposed to wildfire smoke:

  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Increased mucus production in the nose or throat
  • Cough
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, especially during exercise
  • Headache

Protect yourself and your family against the effects:

  • Monitor your symptoms.
  • Minimize outdoor physical activity.
  • Remain indoors with windows, doors and air circulation fans/vents closed. If the air quality gets better for a short time, air out your house by opening doors and windows to circulate fresh air.
  • If you have an air-conditioner, keep the fresh-air intake closed and the filter clean to prevent outdoor smoke from getting inside.
  • Avoid running fans, such as “whole-house fans” or “fresh air ventilation systems”, that bring more smoky outdoor air inside. If you have central air conditioning, set it to recirculate. Keep it running to help filter the air and keep your family cool.
  • Stay inside particularly if you have breathing difficulties.
  • Vehicles should not be used as a shelter, but as a means to get to one or to leave the area.
  • While driving, keep windows and vents closed. Put your car fan on re-circulate mode to avoid drawing in outdoor air.
  • Drink plenty of water, which helps keep your nose and mouth moist.

There are currently no threats to any community in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo at this time.

If in the event of an evacuation alert or order within the municipality, it’s recommended that residents download Alertable-Emergency Notifications.

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