Published: Fri, August 24, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Smoke From British Columbia Wildfires Could Affect Children, Elderly In Long Term

Smoke From British Columbia Wildfires Could Affect Children, Elderly In Long Term

Despite the thick smoke blanketing the province, there's no need to panic about poor air quality, that's what B.C.'s Chief Medical Health Officer is saying.

Poor air quality can be especially risky for infants, the elderly, and people with diabetes, or lung or heart disease.

People who are sensitive to bad air should be particularly careful.

It was only the second time in more than a decade that the emergency measure has been used, after a record fire season previous year that blackened vast tracts of forest and prompted record numbers of residents to evacuate.

Much of the smoke should be cleared out by Friday, and there's even a chance of showers over the weekend.

The advisory is continuing due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter because of smoke from wildfires burning in British Columbia and the western United States.

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A hurricane watch is in effect for a number of areas, including Maui, Central Oahu and parts of the Big Island. Some were going for plywood to board their windows and for generators. "Filling up [the] tank and stuff".

However, central and eastern Washington are likely to see conditions worsen temporarily before fresh air is brought in by rain at the end of the week.

The largest fire continued to be the 850-square-kilometre blaze moving north from Fraser Lake toward Fort St. James.

Air quality was rated as unhealthy Thursday in the Tri-Cities because of smoke from wildfires.

Smaller fires also erupted in urban parts of B.C. on Monday.

Seattle's Space Needle was swathed in haze on Monday, and it was impossible to see nearby mountains.

As of Wednesday morning, Seattle's air pollution was equivalent to a "cigarette intake" of more than nine cigarettes, according to research made by Berkeley Earth.

The Federal Aviation Administration said planes bound for the Sea-Tac International Airport, Seattle's main airport, may be delayed because of low visibility.

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