Smoke from forest fires affecting air quality over stretch of Ontario: weather office

A wildfire rises over a hill in Jasper National Park on Thursday July 9, 2015. An evacuation of part of Jasper National Park has been ordered due to a forest fire in the picturesque Maligne Valley. Wildfires scorched a record amount of Canada's national parks last year ??? the latest in a number of long, hot summers that have almost entirely depleted Parks Canada's firefighting reserve.

Environment Canada says wildfire smoke is affecting air quality and visibility in a stretch of Ontario today.

The weather office has issued an air quality statement for a region spanning from the Toronto area to Algonguin, and to the Kingston area.

It says smoke is currently “expected or occurring,” and high levels of air pollution are possible as a result.

The agency says smoke plumes could move over southern Ontario from forest fires in the province’s north west.

It says air quality could deteriorate if the smoke goes down to ground level.

Environment Canada says people could experience symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.