Air quality health index in Fort St. John rated 10+ this morning

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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Data from the B.C. Ministry of Environment shows that the air quality health index in Fort St. John as of 6:00 a.m. Wednesday was rated 10-plus due to the presence of thick smoke in the air.

A smoky skies bulletin that was issued by the Ministry of Environment remains in effect for Northeast B.C. today.

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As of 6:00 a.m., the North Peace Airport weather station recorded visibility at just two kilometres, the same visibility as in Prince George and Vanderhoof at that hour.

According to Environment Canada satellite imagery, the thick smoke in Fort St. John was pushed by winds from wildfires burning in the B.C. Central Interior near Fraser Lake and Fort St. James.

A satellite photo showing clouds and smoke in the visible light spectrum at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. Photo by Environment Canada

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.

Updates on the air quality situation can be found at www.bcairquality.ca.

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