Update: August 24, 2017 (1:00 p.m.) - The Special Air Quality Statement has ended.
Update: August 19, 2017 - The Special Air Quality Statement below has been continued by Environment Canada and the B.C. Ministry of the Environment.
Note from the SLRD: The Air Quality Statement below was issued by Environment Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment, and is due to smoke from the wildfires currently burning in B.C.'s Interior. Currently there are no wildfires of note burning within the SLRD.
August 15, 2017
Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or is occurring.
The Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Interior and Northern Health Authorities has updated the Smoky Skies Bulletin due to smoke conditions.
Areas covered by this Bulletin include: 100 Mile, Arrow Lakes - Slocan Lake, Boundary, Cariboo North, Cariboo South, Chilcotin, East Columbia, East Kootenay, Elk Valley, Fraser Canyon, Kinbasket, Kootenay Lake, Nicola, North Columbia, North Thompson, Okanagan, Prince George, Shuswap, Similkameen, South Thompson, West Columbia, West Kootenay, Yellowhead and Yoho Park - Kootenay Park.
Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
This bulletin will remain in effect until further notice.
Individuals may experience symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.
People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits.
Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.
Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.
Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada.