The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Island Health Authority has issued an air quality advisory for Courtenay/Comox/Cumberland because of high concentrations of fine particulates that are expected to persist until weather conditions change.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air-conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
Open burning restrictions are now in effect for the Comox Valley within 15 kilometres of Courtenay City Hall. No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.
The air quality advisory and burning ban are expected to remain in place until at least Friday.
For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.
Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
• Avoid areas with wood smoke.
• Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart disease. If symptoms are bothersome, seek medical attention.
• Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.
Additional tips for those with chronic underlying medical conditions:
• Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
• Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
• Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.