How Wildfire Smoke Can Affect Your Health

If you live in British Columbia, you’ve probably noticed the smoky skies that have been present for the past week or so. This smoke is travelling over the border from California, Oregon and Washington, where there are over 3 million acres of land covered by wildfires. This level of wildfire is pretty much unprecedented, and the smoke that is being produced is affecting many people. The Air Quality has been quite poor, and the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) recommends staying indoors to reduce your risk of exposure to smoke particles. This is especially true if you have a chronic heart or lung disease, asthma, if you are pregnant or elderly.

Exposure to wildfire smoke can cause symptoms such as the following:

  • coughing / trouble breathing
  • burning / itchy eyes
  • sinus infection symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, tiredness)
  • chest pain
  • fast heartbeat

If you are experiencing these symptoms, drink lots of fluids so as to not get dehydrated, and rinse out your eyes with eye drops. If your symptoms are severe, consider reaching out to your doctor.

Click here to check out the Air Quality Index for your area, updated hourly.


Information from