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

Abbotsford police cruiser t-bones civilian vehicle en route to emergency call

South Fraser Way and Gladwin blocked off as police conduct investigation

Trail-cam thief unaware of being on camera

Anyone recognizing the thief urged to contact Abbotsford Police Department

Sumas Mountain vs. Fishtrap; Rd 3 voting opens in best-park bracket

Voting continues in ongoing bracket to determine Abbotsford’s favourite park

Matsqui Trail vs. Bateman/Stoney Crk; Rd 3 voting opens in best-park bracket

Voting continues in ongoing bracket to determine Abbotsford’s favourite park

VIDEO: B.C. Mountie killed by drunk driver honoured by memorial playground

Sarah Beckett Memorial Playground opens with ceremony in Langford

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Groups ready campaign to help young voters identify ‘fake news’ in election

The media literacy campaign to focus on identifying misinformation and suspicious sources online

Big rally in northern B.C. draws attention to continuing lumber crisis

Mayor Joan Atkinson says about 400 workers have been directly affected by the closure of the Canfor mill

Most Read