Air quality bulletin in effect

Smoke from wildfires across the region is causing poor air quality with reduced visibility.

The Ministry of Environment, along with Northern Heath, issued a "Smoky Skies" bulletin for the Prince George region including Vanderhoof, Valemount and surrounding areas due to wildfire smoke.

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Under these conditions, smoke concentrations may vary dramatically over short periods of time and over small distances.

According to Northern Health, here are a few tips to reduce personal health risks from smoke:

People with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke and should watch for any change in symptoms due to smoke exposure.

Those with symptoms should go to their health care provider, walk in clinic or emergency department if serious in nature.

Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity. If breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.

Stay indoors, stay cool and drink plenty of fluids

Smoke levels may be lower indoors but levels of smoke particles might still be increased. If you stay indoors, be aware or your symptoms.

Consider visiting a location like a shopping mall with cooler filtered air.

Staying indoors may help you stay cool and provide some relief of the smoke, however, some air conditioning symptoms do not filter the air or improve indoor air quality.

Reduce indoor pollution sources such as smoking or burning other materials.

Reduce your exposure to smoke by moving to cleaner air. Conditions may vary by area and elevation.

Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should have an asthma or personal care plan in place.

Pay attention to local air quality reports as air quality may be poor even though smoke may not be visible.

The Smoky Skies bulletin is a new bulletin issued by the Ministry of the Environment in partnership with Northern Health to improve communication about wildfire smoke.

The bulletin is issued when smoke concentrations have or can potentially reach levels of concern.

This is based on smoke transport models, satellite information, photographs of visual air quality and first hand observations.

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