Thick smoke from wildfires is drifting across the province and creating a health hazard.
According to Health Canada, the best way to stay healthy in smoky conditions is to stay indoors.
If it is too hot in your home to stay indoors, feel free to spend some time at our cooling centre located at municipal hall (446 Main Street).
Why is wildfire smoke bad for your health?
- Contains a hazardous mixture of gases, pollutants and pieces of debris
- Microscopic particles known as PM2.5 are invisible to the human eye
- Particles can enter lungs and bloodstream when exposed to smoke causing inflammation
- Inflammation can exacerbate underlying heart and lung conditions (i.e. asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Do air purifiers help?
- Health Canada recommends air-cleaning devices that use high-efficiency air filters
- Air purifiers don't have to be expensive to work - make your own with a box fan, air filter and some cardboard
Should I wear a mask outside?
- Health Canada recommends a well-fitted respirator type mask (i.e. N95 or equivalent)
- The mask should not let any air pass between the mask and face
- Masks help filter out fine particles, but not other gases from smoke
- If you work outdoors, check with Occupational Health and Safety for guidance on how to work safely
How can I limit smoke inside my home?
- Keep windows shut
- Ensure seals around windows are properly filled - use a wet towel to cover any cracks
- Health Canada recommends you limit burning any incense, candles or wood stoves
- Once the smoke clears, open windows to circulate fresh air
- More information
- Air Quality Health Index
- Sicamous information is under "North Okanagan"
- Wildfire Smoke - BC Centre for Disease Control
- Wildfire smoke and Air Quality Health Index (AQHI)
- Wildfire smoke is spreading again. Here's how you can protect your health
- Emergency information map (Shuswap Emergency Program)