Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is urging Sea to Sky residents to take precautions due to poor air quality resulting from local wildfires. Air quality in Whistler and Pemberton slightly improved overnight but the air quality in Squamish is now worse. Air quality is considered poor throughout the region and the Ministry of Environment wildfire smoke advisory for the Sea to Sky Corridor is still in effect.
VCH Public Health staff are working with municipal governments, Metro Vancouver and the Ministry of the Environment and continuing to monitor air quality.
Approximately a dozen people have been treated at health care facilities in Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton for mild respiratory symptoms, such as a sore throat and shortness of breath. Anyone experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, or a sudden cough or irritated airways, should contact their health care provider.
Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
Tips for the public:
- · It’s important for these vulnerable people to stay in air conditioned spaces, or facilities with cooler filtered air like an arena or public library.
- · And for everyone, use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
- · Reduce indoor pollution sources such as smoking or burning other materials.
- · Be sure to check on any frail elderly neighbours or loved ones.
Masks are not recommended as they do not ease respiratory symptoms.