Smoky Skies Advisories in effect for the East Kootenay area

East Kootenay area under smoke advisory warning after smoke from other fires is drifting into the area and effecting the air quality.

The East Kootenay area has been put under a smoke advisory warning after smoke from other fires is drifting into the area and effecting the air quality.

The Smoky Skies Advisory went into effect just before 10 a.m. on  Aug. 23. The majority of the smoke is coming from wildfires burning south of the border, adding to the smoke caused by the local wildfires in the Kootenay-Boundary areas.

While the Smoky Skies Advisory is in effect, the Ministry of Environment is asking people to avoid strenuous outdoor activities and to be aware of any odd symptoms.

“Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease,” said a press released issued by the Ministry of Environment.

A Smoky Skies Advisory is issued when smoke concentrations in an area reach levels that are of concern to human health and well being. It is different than the Wildfire Smoke Advisories issued for in the Grand Forks, Castlegar and Creston areas, which are based on concentration levels of fine particulate matter in the air.

“A Smoky Skies Advisory is a pilot program intended to respond to the rapidly changing nature of wildfire smoke, in which smoke concentrations can vary significantly over short distances and periods of time that may not be well-characterized by the existing air quality monitoring network or responded to in a timely manner by Wildfire Smoke Advisories,” said the Ministry press release.

The advisory will remain in effect until further notice. Anyone suffering from symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider.