There are currently about 13,000 farm animals in areas affected by wildfire evacuation alerts or orders, with 250 livestock producers moving or protecting cattle, sheep, horses and goats. (Black Press files

B.C. wildfire smoke hazard temporary, most don’t need masks

Provincial Health Officer says staying indoors best strategy

Wildfire smoke is a temporary irritant, not as bad as long-term exposure to smog in big cities such as Beijing, says Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer for B.C.

Henry joined the provincial government’s wildfire update report Wednesday to offer practical advice for people avoiding smoke that has settled over much of the province. She said staying indoors and limiting exertion during heavy smoke periods is better for most people than wearing a mask.

Dust masks are not effective against the fine particulates generated by forest fires, and heavier masks may further restrict breathing for people with respiratory ailments, Henry said. B.C. hospitals are reporting a significant increase in visits to emergency by people with chronic illnesses.

B.C. had 16 new fire starts Tuesday, bringing the number of active fires to 563. Some rain is expected in northern B.C. later this week, with more extensive rain possible by Sunday to help ease conditions, said Ryan Turcotte of the B.C. Wildfire Service.

RELATED: Winds a concern in Kootenay fire effort

RELATED: Okanagan tourism keeps going amid haze

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said Wednesday there are about 13,000 livestock in areas affected by fire evacuation orders and alerts, with 250 producers currently affected in the Northwest, Cariboo and Southeast regions. The province is assisting with the relocation of cattle, which are most of the livestock affected along with some sheep, horses and goats.

In the Agassiz area, two dairy operations and a turkey farm have been spraying water to prepare for the advance of the Mount Hicks fire north of the community. That fire has been burning for nearly two weeks in steep terrain, but has recently burned back on itself to reduce the risk of property damage, Popham said.

Just Posted

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

Candidates declared for 2018 elections

Nominations for the municipal election have come to a close, and the… Continue reading

Summerland Steam lose one, win one in hockey action

Junior B team loses to Golden, but wins against Chase

Your Mountain Minute for September 13

Golden’s weekly 6-second news recap… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read