A special air quality statement is in effect for the Cariboo including Williams Lake due to wildfire smoke from the United States.
Environment Canada issued the statement Wednesday afternoon (Sept 16). The air quality health index for Williams Lake is considered moderate risk Wednesday afternoon, and evening, but is forecast to be high risk Thursday.
Although air quality has improved considerably across southern B.C., fine particulate matter levels, which are not visible to the human eye and can lead to serious health effects, remain elevated.
“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gasses which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” noted the statement.
Those at greater risk of being adversely affected by wildfire smoke include small children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with lung or heart conditions and people involved in strenuous outdoor work or sports.
However, during heavy smoke conditions, everyone regardless of their age or health is at risk.
The region is likely to be impacted over the next 24 to 48 hours as winds from the south are expected to continue to transport smoke north, Environment Canada said.