Canada issued a red alert for wildfire smoke pollution in British Columbia’s Interior and Interior Fraser regions on Saturday as concerns grow over the heightened risk.
“B.C. Emergency Management BC is issuing a red wildfire smoke alert for today for the Interior and Interior Fraser Regions in BC due to elevated hazard associated with wildfire smoke,” read a statement on the agency’s website on Saturday.
“High risk of wildfire smoke-related health impacts (castor bean syndrome),” it added. “Inland areas are most affected.”
Red alert means people with respiratory problems should be extra careful to avoid exertion outdoors.
The warnings follow a week of heavy smoke from wildfires that have created a pollution alert for the Vancouver area, as well as areas in Ontario and Quebec.
The red alert is the latest warning issued as the province faces a “very high” air quality hazard for most of the southern Interior and Interior Fraser regions.
The province ordered nearly 12,000 air quality monitoring stations throughout the Interior to notify motorists of red alert days and issued a warning on its social media pages.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Solutions said it is working to restore a travel ban to forest roads across several southeastern regions in hopes of opening up roads to restore some of the forest transportation system.
British Columbia started August with 75 large wildfires blazing across the province. The total number of fires at the end of last week was at 248, but officials have warned that it is likely to get worse as the weather becomes more dry.
In July, British Columbia declared a state of emergency due to the weather phenomenon called “Sparky,” which was causing serious complications for forest fire fighting efforts.
Read the full story at The Guardian.
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