Those hazy days of summer

An air quality statement remains in effect for Prince George and Vanderhoof as smoky skies persist. Bill Phillips photo
An air quality statement remains in effect for Prince George and Vanderhoof as smoky skies persist. Bill Phillips photo

A special air quality statement remains in effect for Prince George and Vanderhoof.

Environment Canada issued the statement two days ago and smoke from distant wildfires continues to hang over the North. The smoke is coming from as far away at Manitoba, Ontario, and Siberia.

During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour. Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.

People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects.

For general information about wildfire smoke and your health, contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (toll free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).

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.

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.

Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.

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.