A smoky skies advisory has been issued for most of Vancouver Island, including the Campbell River area, due to the forest fire smoke covering the area. Exposure to increased smoke concentrations is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have medical conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Those at risk should avoid strenuous activities and prolonged exposure to smoke. Should symptoms develop (such as difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways) contact a health care provider.
Note that many air conditioning systems do not filter the air, so being indoors may not eliminate exposure to smoke particles. Also, air quality may be poor even though smoke is not visible. Check the air quality health index by visiting http://www.bcairquality.ca.
Smoky Skies Bulletins are a new type of public notification being used by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in collaboration with the Island Health Authority, to improve communication on wildfire smoke.