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Wildfire smoke impacts Cariboo air quality on long weekend

Environment Canada has issued several smoky skies bulletins
Thick smoke blanketed the Cariboo region Saturday, Sept. 2, including at Quesnel Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Thick smoke from this year’s unprecedented wildfires has put a damper on Labour Day long weekend activities in the Cariboo region, and across many parts of Canada.

Environment Canada issued a smoky skies bulletin Sept. 2 for eastern parts of B.C. including the Cariboo and North Thompson regions. As of 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 3 there were a total of 952 weather/air quality alerts issued by Environment Canada across the country.

“In the northern parts of the province, increased fire activity due to strong winds will lead to increased levels of smoke and poor air quality. Conditions may still be intermittent depending on local wind patterns. In the southern parts of the province, smoke conditions will be patchy and localized, especially in areas with local fire activity. Conditions may be variable throughout the day,” noted the special bulletin.

“Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke,” notes Environment Canada.

“People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke. Speak with your health care provider about developing a management plan for wildfire smoke events and maintaining a supply of necessary medications at home and always carrying these medications with you during wildfire season.”

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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