Air quality health advisory issued due to smoke

KAMLOOPS – The Ministry of Environment has issued an air quality advisory for Kamloops thanks to the smoke from forest fires burning in northern B.C.

The air quality health index reading is currently a seven out of ten. The higher the number on the scale signifies a higher risk. A seven is considered a high health risk rating.

Children, seniors and those with respiratory conditions such as asthma are advised to reduce strenuous activities outdoors.

"It's fairly certain that people that have reactive airway disease will be irritated by the smoke. They're more likely to experience a flare-up of their normal asthmatic type symptoms," Dr. Sven Kip said.

"The simplest answer would be to avoid (the smoke) as much as possible," the Kamloops family doctor said.

Kip says at-risk groups should stay indoors and wear a mask if symptoms persist. He advises those who use inhalers to keep medication on hand in order to prevent an attack. 

The general population, or those not characterized as at-risk, are advised to reschedule strenuous activities if they are experiencing symptoms like throat irritation and coughing.

Most of the smoke is coming from the more than 36,000 hectares burning in the north.

More information will become available once the B.C. government releases updated air quality information.

To contact a reporter for this story, email, or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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