Efforts are underway to clear the air and protect all B.C. residents from COVID-19.
Open burning restrictions have been issued across British Columbia’s high smoke sensitivity zones, which include the Okanagan.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners has issued the restrictions until Wednesday, April 15. No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires. A map of affected areas is shown in yellow in Figure 1 and a high resolution image can be accessed on the provincial Interactive Venting Index webpage.
As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in B.C. continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province.
“There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function,” said Daniel Bings, with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.