The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Island Health issued an air quality advisory for Courtenay on Nov. 7, citing high concentrations of fine particulates in the air that are expected to persist until a change in weather conditions.
According to a news release, fine particulate concentrations were measured at 30 micrograms per cubic metre as of 7 a.m on Tuesday, slightly exceeding the provincial air quality objective of 25 micrograms per cubic metre.
The release recommends not using wood stoves or fireplaces, avoiding backyard burning and reducing the use of idling of vehicles.
For those with chronic underlying medical conditions, Island Health recommends postponing strenuous exercise and staying indoors in air-conditioned spaces until the advisory is lifted.
Alongside the air quality advisory, Island Health also implemented a two-day open burning restriction for Comox Valley residents within 15 kilometers of Courtenay City Hall.
“As pollution may occur from open burning, the Director has suspended the exemption in the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation that allows for the open burning of debris to occur without a permit or approval from the Ministry of Environment,” wrote Robyn Roome, director, environmental management act monitoring.
“Contravention of these provisions may be subject to a fine under the regulation.”