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Smoky skies bulletin issued for Northeast B.C.

The sun tinged red because of smoke in the air over Fort St. John. Photo by Chris Newton
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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Environment Canada has issued a smoky skies bulletin for all of Northeast B.C. today.

Officials with the Ministry of Environment say that at this point, it’s not entirely known where the smoke is coming from.

Air quality meteorologist Ralph Adams said that the smoke isn’t coming any local fires in Northeast B.C., but could possibly be coming from fires burning in the Yukon anjd Northwest Territories, and even as far away as Scandinavia and Siberia.

“The view at the moment is that it’s likely coming from there. It’s likely that this smoke is coming from Eurasia, but at this point, there’s no agreement.”

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During a wildfire, Environment Canada says that smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.

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

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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.

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