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Air quality advisory issued for Williams Lake

An air quality advisory was issued today, Aug. 18, by the Ministry of Environment for Williams Lake and surrounding areas because of forest fire smoke affecting the region.

"Smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change," Air Quality Meteorologist with the MOE Ralph Adams said. "Avoid strenuous activities outdoors."

The MOE said if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms to 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.

As of Monday at 11:30 a.m. the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch said the Bull Canyon fire near Alexis Creek is 940 hectares, however, 100 per cent contained.

An evacuation alert issued by the Cariboo Regional District currently remains in effect for nine residences at Bayliff Road, west of Alexis Creek.

Currently 62 firefighters and three helicopters are deployed to battle the blaze.

More information about evacuation alerts and evacuation orders in the Cariboo Regional District can be found at https://www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations.

Another fire west of Mount Dent — approximately 100 kilometres north of Alexis Creek and 44 kilometres north of Chezacut — is causing problems for firefighting crews.

"This wildfire is in a remote location with challenging access," the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch said on its website.

"Today, crews are working on establishing access to the fire with the assistance of heavy equipment."

Over night the wildfire was very active and displayed aggressive fire behaviour, the BCWMB said, adding currently no structures or communities are being threatened. Additionally, the BCWMB is identifying potential values in the area.

The cause of the fire is listed as lightning.

For updates visit www.bcwildfire.ca.

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