The Elk Valley received precipitation overnight and the rain and cold temperatures are contributing to less aggressive fire behaviour.
As a result, in consultation with the BC Wildfire Service, the precautionary Evacuation Alert for the Elkford area has been rescinded by the RDEK, District of Elkford and District of Sparwood.
“Although the alert has been lifted, it is important for residents to remain aware and prepared should conditions on either of the fires change,” said RDEK Information Officer Loree Duczek. “In spite of the rain received in parts of the region, conditions still remain dry and we all need to continue to stay vigilant.”
Smoke in the Elk Valley has cleared substantially however remains an issue if and when the wind changes.
Smoky Skies Bulletin
A Smoky Skies Bulletin was issued for Fernie and the Elk Valley earlier this week. Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, and sudden onset of cough or irritation of airways. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, and lung or heart disease. This Bulletin will remain in effect until further notice.
Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
• People with heart or lung conditions may be more sensitive to the effects of smoke and should watch for any change in symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure. If any
symptoms are noted, affected individuals should take steps to reduce their exposure to smoke and if necessary see their physician. People with symptoms should go to their health care provider, walk in clinic or emergency department depending on severity of symptoms.
• Use common sense regarding outdoor physical activity – if your breathing becomes difficult
or uncomfortable, stop or reduce the activity.
• Stay cool and drink plenty of fluids.
• Smoke levels may be lower indoors, however levels of smoke particles will still be increased. If you stay indoors, be aware of your symptoms.
• Consider visiting a location like a shopping mall with cooler filtered air. Keep in mind that staying indoors may help you stay cool and provide some relief from the smoke, however many air conditioning systems do not filter the air or improve indoor air quality.
• Reduce indoor pollution sources such as smoking or burning other materials.
• You may be able to reduce your exposure to smoke by moving to cleaner air. Conditions can vary dramatically by area and elevation.
• Residents with asthma or other chronic illness should activate their asthma or personal
• Pay attention to local air quality reports, air quality may be poor even though smoke may
not be visible.
An information line has been set up at 250-426-2188 or toll free 1-855-346-2188. For the latest status of wildfires visit here.