UPDATE (July 6th, 7:35 a.m.):

The Special Air Quality Statement has been ended for the region.

ORIGINAL STORY (July 5th, 12 p.m.)

A number of areas, including the East Kootenay, will likely have lower air quality due to wildfire smoke over the next few days.

Environment Canada officials said residents should take extra care to reduce exposure.

“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” said Environment Canada.

Symptoms such as coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath can come from inhaling smoke. According to Environment Canada, children, seniors and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

The alert comes as nearly 200 wildfires burn across B.C., with seven in the East Kootenay.