Last night (May 8) it was a cloud on the western horizon – today it’s a smelly haze hanging over the town.
It is an “Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Gibbs Creek” according to the BC Wildfire Service.
According to the site page:
The key goals of this burn include:
- rejuvenating the shrub, herb and grass layer, which will enhance habitat for mule deer, white-tailed deer and elk;
- improving overall biodiversity in the area and promoting more climate-resilient tree stands; and
accumulations of dead and combustible material, which will decrease the
risk of future catastrophic wildfires in the area.
We can all hope that it goes well and the smoke quickly dissipates.
Meanwhile it’s a reminder that fire season is coming. The time to check your readiness is Now before it’s too late to be effective. Check those fire extinguishers to see if they still have a charge. Clean up any dry debris that could become kindling. Give some thought to exactly what you will take if you have to leave in a hurry because you won’t be clear about it in the moment.
Follow the latest wildfire news:
* on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* on Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo
Think about using the RDKB’s new Voyent Alert App to get the most up-to-date notifications on your phone or mobile device. We learned more about this during Preparedness Week.
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY AND OPEN BURNING RESTRICTIONS
CONTINUES FOR GRAND FORKS
(December 13th, 2013) – Nelson. The Ministry of Environment is continuing the Air Quality Advisory for Grand Forks and surrounding areas because of high concentrations of fine particulates that are expected to persist until the current weather system changes. Air quality will be monitored over the weekend and the advisory will be lifted if conditions improve. Otherwise, a formal update will be issued Monday morning, December 16th.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
Open burning restrictions continue to be in effect within a 20 kilometre radius from downtown Grand Forks until the Air Quality Advisory is lifted. No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.
For more information on burning restrictions, see the section below entitled ‘Mandatory Emission Reduction Actions’. For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.
Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
- Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic and areas with wood smoke.
- Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.
- Maintaining good overall health
Additional tips for those with chronic underlying medical conditions:
- Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and the use of wood stoves.
- Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
- Take shelter in buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.
Mandatory Emission Reduction Actions:
- As pollution may occur from open burning, the Director has suspended the exemption in the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (Sections 2(i) and 4(2)(a)) that allows for open burning of debris to occur within a 20 kilometer radius of downtown Grand Forks without a permit or approval from the Ministry of Environment. No new fires may be initiated pursuant to Section 4(2)(c) of the Regulation and no additional material may be added to existing fires until the Air Quality Advisory is lifted. Contravention of these provisions may be subject to a fine under the Regulation.
Date issued: December 13th, 2013
For Director, Environmental Management Act,
Voluntary Emission Reduction Actions:
- Avoid the use of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces unless used as the sole source of residential heat.
- Where wood-stoves or fireplaces are the sole source of residential heat, use only CSA/EPA emissions approved wood-burning appliances and well-cured wood, and ensure an adequate supply of combustion air.
- Follow local backyard burning bylaws.
- Avoid backyard burning where a bylaw does not exist.
- Reduce the use and idling of vehicles.
- Fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations are currently 30 micrograms per cubic metre (averaged over 24 hours) and exceed the provincial air quality objective of 25 micrograms per cubic metre (averaged over 24 hours).
- Sources of fine particulates contributing to this air quality episode include wood smoke (wood stoves and/or open burning) as well as emissions from industry and transportation sources such as automobiles, trucks and rail traffic.
- This episode is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather system, which is characterized by calm winds and poor atmospheric ventilation.
Precipitation is expected over the weekend and may improve air quality.
Real-time air quality information from Grand Forks and other B.C. communities can be found at: www.bcairquality.ca.