The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with the Interior Health Authority has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Williams Lake.
The Ministry said this is due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter that are expected to persist until weather conditions change.
The concentration in micro-grams per cubic meter in Williams Lake earlier this morning was sitting at a 28.7.
Earlier this (Thursday) morning the Air Quality Health Index was rated at 9 which is high risk, where as in the afternoon hours, that number went down to a moderate risk of 5.
The Ministry said open burning restrictions are also now in effect for Williams Lake and the surrounding area until tomorrow morning at 9.
No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.
While this Air Quality Advisory is in effect, persons with chronic underlying medical conditions, like asthma, heart disease, diabetes, pregnant women, infants, and older adults, should postpone or reduce strenuous exercise.
Gavin King, air quality meteorologist for the ministry of environment, spoke about safety measures for those with chronic underlying medical conditions.
“If you can stay out of the smoke, stay out of it. Stay inside or stay inside buildings with a good HVAC system that’ll help clear the smoke out of the air coming into the house.”
Anyone experiencing symptoms like continuing eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough, or wheezing, should follow the advice of their health care provider.