The office of Yukon’s Chief Medical Officer of Health is updating its air quality advisory for Yukon due to forecasts for increasing concentrations of wildfire smoke.
Wildfires in Alaska and central Yukon continue to produce smoke throughout the territory. Local conditions will affect the smoke concentration in each community. Current forecasts predict that the densest smoke will affect central Yukon communities starting Wednesday, July 10.
Yukon Wildland Fire Management is closely monitoring fires throughout the territory. For updates on the current wildfire situation see https://yukon.ca/get-wildfire-updates
You can estimate the air quality in your community by determining how far you can see (visibility index). For information on the visibility index please see: http://www.hss.gov.yk.ca/pdf/visibilityratingcommunities.pdf
If visibility is less than two kilometres, the air quality is very unhealthy and people should find cleaner air indoors to protect their health.
Smoke can impact your health if it lingers in your community. Please observe the following recommendations:
- You may experience symptoms such as coughing, eye or throat irritation, or shortness of breath. If you are experiencing symptoms, stop your outdoor activity and/or strenuous physical activity and find cleaner indoor air.
- Make sure you identify and support those who are at increased risk from wildfire smoke. Those at increased risk include small children, elders, pregnant women, and people with lung or heart disease. These people should avoid all strenuous activity during smoky conditions.
- If you have a health condition that could worsen with the smoke (asthma/chronic lung disease, or heart disease) check in with your health-care provider to make sure that you have a plan for managing your condition. Make sure your medications and supplies are available and up-to-date.
- Reduce exposure to smoky air by staying indoors and turning on an air cleaner with a HEPA filter, if you have one. Keep indoor air as clean as possible by avoiding smoking or burning other materials.
- If your symptoms worsen or you are concerned about your health or the health of a friend or family member, contact the health line at 811, contact your health care provider, or go to your Community Health Centre or hospital emergency department.
For advice about keeping your home air clean and cool visit www.hss.gov.yk.ca/wildfiresmoke.php
To view an hourly forecast of smoke conditions in Yukon, visit www.firesmoke.ca/forecasts/current
Visit www.airhealth.cafor information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast Air Quality Health Index values for Whitehorse.