Air quality alert for Kootenay and Yoho parks
Environment Canada this morning (August 18) issued a special air quality statement in effect for Kootenay and Yoho National Park areas.
Smoke is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility. Smoke is expected or occurring.
The Kootenay Lake and Kootenay/Yoho park regions of B.C. are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24 – 48 hours.
Smoke levels vary across southeast B.C. and appear most concentrated in the Yoho Park and Kootenay Lake areas, Environment Canada stated.
During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.
Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.
People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.
People with lung diseases, such as asthma and COPD, can be particularly sensitive to air pollution. They will generally experience more serious health effects at lower levels. Pollution can aggravate their diseases, leading to increased medication use, doctor and emergency room visits, and hospital visits, Environment Canada noted.
If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health.
e-KNOW file photo