FORT NELSON, B.C. – A smokey skies bulletin has been released by the government that Fort Nelson will be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 to 48 hours.
According to the government, during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.
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 from smoke exposure.
The government shares, if breathing becomes difficult or you feel unwell to stop or reduce your activity level. Staying cool and drinking plenty of fluids is helpful as well as tending to children and others who cannot care for themselves. As well as carrying any rescue medications with you at all times.
Different people have different responses to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common and usually disappear when the smoke clears.
People with asthma or other chronic illness should activate the personal care plans they have designed with their family physicians. If you are unsure whether you need medical care, call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1. If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or a severe cough, contact your health care provider, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. If you are having a medical emergency, call 9-1-1.
Further tips from the government to reduce your exposure include;
- Smoke levels may be lower indoors but will still be elevated, so stay aware of your symptoms even when you are indoors.
- Running a commercially available HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter can improve indoor air quality in the room where the device is located.
- If you have a forced air heating/cooling system in your home, it may help to change the filter and set the fan to run continuously. Reduce indoor air pollution sources such as smoking, burning incense, and frying foods.
- Consider going to a library, community center, or shopping mall with cooler filtered air to get some relief from the smoke.
- If travelling in a car with air conditioning, keep the windows up and the ventilation set to recirculate.
- If you are very sensitive to smoke, consider moving to another location with cleaner air, but be aware that conditions can change rapidly.
- Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.