Science

NASA photos from space show smoke from BC wildfires

NASA photos from space show smoke from BC wildfires

Environment Canada has expanded its air quality advisory to cover the southern portion of the province spanning from eastern Vancouver Island to Elk Valley on the Alberta boundary.

Focusing on the health of the public, the index breaks down air quality into six groups in a color coded system; good, moderate, unhealthy for sensitive groups, unhealthy, very unhealthy and hazardous.

According to the state Department of Ecology, the smoke can cause health concerns for everyone, especially people with existing health conditions. "Hot weather can complicate the situation for some people, so residents should consult their doctors if they have questions", Olsen said.

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If you want to see the air quality levels in your area, see the Real Time Map here. Moderate indicates the air quality is acceptable, but some pollutants could pose a moderate health risk to a limited number of people.

"People with chronic lung or heart conditions, the elderly, and children have higher risk of health problems from the fine particles in wildfire smoke", said Richard Leman, M.D., OHA public health physician.

Symptoms that may be related to excess smoke exposure include repeated coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, chest tightness or pain, palpitations, nausea and lightheadedness. The ban means outdoor fires are prohibited.


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