Wildfire smoke is impacting much of B.C., prompting an air quality advisory from Environment Canada.
Environment Canada officials issued the special weather statement on Tuesday and said the conditions will probably linger for one or two days.
The alert is in place for the East Kootenay but seems to have bypassed the West Kootenay region as of Tuesday afternoon.
“Smoke is widespread through central B.C. and extending into southeastern B.C. along the Rocky Mountains. Haze and smoke conditions will be variable within these regions,” said Environment Canada.
Those with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant people and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are at a higher risk of smoke exposure.
“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke,” said Environment Canada. “Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. Contact your health care provider or local health authority if you develop severe symptoms or need advice.”
Residents are also advised to limit their time exposed to smoke.
“If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH-certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke,” said Environment Canada. “These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms.”
You can monitor the alerts through the link below.
More: Environment Canada alert map