There are currently about 13,000 farm animals in areas affected by wildfire evacuation alerts or orders, with 250 livestock producers moving or protecting cattle, sheep, horses and goats. (Black Press files

B.C. wildfire smoke hazard temporary, most don’t need masks

Provincial Health Officer says staying indoors best strategy

Wildfire smoke is a temporary irritant, not as bad as long-term exposure to smog in big cities such as Beijing, says Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer for B.C.

Henry joined the provincial government’s wildfire update report Wednesday to offer practical advice for people avoiding smoke that has settled over much of the province. She said staying indoors and limiting exertion during heavy smoke periods is better for most people than wearing a mask.

Dust masks are not effective against the fine particulates generated by forest fires, and heavier masks may further restrict breathing for people with respiratory ailments, Henry said. B.C. hospitals are reporting a significant increase in visits to emergency by people with chronic illnesses.

B.C. had 16 new fire starts Tuesday, bringing the number of active fires to 563. Some rain is expected in northern B.C. later this week, with more extensive rain possible by Sunday to help ease conditions, said Ryan Turcotte of the B.C. Wildfire Service.

RELATED: Winds a concern in Kootenay fire effort

RELATED: Okanagan tourism keeps going amid haze

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham said Wednesday there are about 13,000 livestock in areas affected by fire evacuation orders and alerts, with 250 producers currently affected in the Northwest, Cariboo and Southeast regions. The province is assisting with the relocation of cattle, which are most of the livestock affected along with some sheep, horses and goats.

In the Agassiz area, two dairy operations and a turkey farm have been spraying water to prepare for the advance of the Mount Hicks fire north of the community. That fire has been burning for nearly two weeks in steep terrain, but has recently burned back on itself to reduce the risk of property damage, Popham said.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Gone Country success means so much to cancer patient

Mother of three, recovering from breast cancer treatment, makes it to seventh annual charity concert

VIDEO: Gone Country success means so much to cancer patient

Mother of three, recovering from breast cancer treatment, makes it to seventh annual charity concert

VIDEO: Rural Langley house saved from quick spreading brush fire

Dry weather helped fuel a blaze believed started by faulty farm equipment

A chance to dance with a legend

Langley City Summer Series presented tributes to famous performers

Langley – revving up for the cause

Two local cancer patients receive a bit of financial aid from a recent Langley charity car show

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

VIDEO: Bystander training gains traction as tool to prevent sexual harassment, violence

Julia Gartley was sexually assaulted after an event, and no one stepped in to help

Two brands of ice cream sandwiches recalled due to presence of metal

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency issued a recall on Iceberg and Originale Augustin brands

Sexual assaults, extortion on the rise even as crime rates stay low: Stats Canada

Rates of police-reported sexual assault rose for the fourth year in a row

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Most Read