Yellowknife, NWT – The Chief Public Health Officer of the Northwest Territories says there can be serious health risks associated with the inhalation of wildfire smoke.

Doctor Andre Corriveau was speaking after more than 60 wildfires were confirmed across the territory.

Corriveau says the intensity of smoke can fluctuate from hour to hour depending on wind conditions and how far away a fire is.

He says caution should always be taken into account.

“Smoke causes more damage if it penetrates deep into the lungs so it’s certainly not a good time to run a marathon or do heavy exercise. Even for healthy people, we recommend they cut back on normal activities outdoors during the peak of the smoke exposure.”

Corriveau says most people exposed to smoke won’t suffer any long term or permanent damage but says everyone should take steps to avoid extended exposure.

He says the young and elderly as well as people with chronic lung and heart disease are especially vulnerable to some of the adverse effects of being exposed to wildfire smoke.

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