Dank smoke hanging over Williams Lake once again sparks very high air quality alert

Smoky conditions are especially hazardous for children, the elderly and people with health problems

While the dank smoke hanging over Williams Lake today will help to suppress wildfires in the region it certainly isn’t good for people’s health.

With an air quality index reading of 10-plus or “very high” Sunday, health authorities are advising people to reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion.

People who have existing respiratory illnesses such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema or lung cancer; and those with existing cardiovascular conditions such as angina, previous heart attack, congestive heart failure or heart rhythm problems (arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat) are sensitive to air pollution.

People with diabetes are also more sensitive because they are more likely to have cardiovascular disease. Air pollution makes it even harder for people to breathe and can make existing lung or heart-related symptoms worse. For example, it can trigger heart attacks.

More information is available at airhealth.ca.


A smoky view of Scout Island Nature Centre with a portion of the Stampede Grounds visible on the right side of the picture from Highway 97 South. Kathy McLean photo