Following up on another summer where Cariboo residents experienced poor air quality due to smoke from wildfires, the Scout Island Nature Centre is hosting a smoke and awareness workshop on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. until noon. (Angie Mindus photo)

Scout Island to host air quality workshop Sept.27

Scout Island Nature Centre is hosting PM 2.5 Smoke an air quality awareness workshop on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 12p.m.

Scout Island Nature Centre is hosting a smoke and air quality awareness information session on Sept. 27 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Billed the ‘PM 2.5 Smoke and Air Quality Awareness Workshop,’ Scout Island Nature Centre has been working on raising awareness on the air quality issue in Williams Lake for the last five years through education and spreading the word.

However, according to executive director Sue Hemphill, they only started to gain traction in last two years in wake of the heavy smoke from nearby forest fires.

Read More: Cariboo communities socked in by wildfire smoke

Hemphill said that they’ve traditionally had trouble getting people to use proper wood-burning stoves, which account for over 50 per cent of the pollution in Williams Lake, and to stop idling, in addition to other emission-reducing steps.

“It’s been quite a struggle to get people to pay attention to such things because it’s often out of sight out of mind. When our air is bad, people remember, but when our air is good they don’t remember or do things about it,” Hemphill said.

The workshop will have 40 spaces available for free on a first come first served basis, and will be run by Ralph Adams, a Ministry of Environment air quality meteorologist and member of Williams Lake Air Quality Roundtable.

In addition to his public workshop, Adams will also be proving one for the City of Williams Lake on Sept. 26.

He will be discussing how terrain and wind patterns can affect air quality; methods individuals can take to improve the air quality, what different levels of smoke pollution means and the long-term health effects of exposure. Hemphill thinks this will be particularly valuable as she feels people don’t comprehend how much it can affect them even if they don’t have asthma or a similar breathing condition.

“During the smoky times, I’d often be in a store talking to someone, getting information and people were struggling to think. Just because your brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen,” Hemphill said.

“On days where we don’t have thick smoke in the air though we can still have pollution and its still affecting us.”

Read More: App converts B.C. air quality to cigarettes smoked

Hemphill hopes that this workshop will change both the conversation about how air quality is maintained and ultimately laws regarding it.

For example, she suggested maybe wood burning stoves shouldn’t be allowed on inversion days, when a layer of hot air traps cold air in the bowl of Williams Lake Air Shed, increasing the effects of the pollution.

To this end, Hemphill said she is in the process of arranging for the workshop to be put to video and put on the local community TV station for more widespread community consumption. She also has early plans to put in online on YouTube though she advises those who want information now to check out breatheeasywilliamslake.org.



patrick.davies@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Trumpeter Donnie Clark returning to Williams Lake

Donnie Clark is one of Canada’s leading trumpet and flugelhorn players.

Platinum-set pendant to be raffled for Cariboo Foundation Hospital Trust

Geoff took 40 hours to make the pendant and many more hours to finalize the design

Bus company eyeing passenger and cargo service departing from Williams Lake, stopping in Quesnel

Merritt Bus Shuttle Services Ltd. would have a driver based in Williams Lake for the route to Prince George

Williams Lake city council settles for $5 airport passenger facility fee increase

Originally council was debating establishing a $10 airport improvement fee

Rain, sleet and snow arrives in the Cariboo

Freezing rain in the forecast overnight

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

B.C. firefighters rescue horse stuck in mud

‘It happens more often than you’d think,’ says deputy chief

UPDATE: West Fraser to permanently reduce production in Quesnel, Fraser Lake

The move, due to log supply shortages, will affect 75 employees in Quesnel, 60 in Fraser Lake

Canadians more prepared for weather disaster than financial one: poll

RBC recommends people check their bank app as often as the weather app

Most Read