Health warning issued over forest fire smoke

Health warning issued over forest fire smoke Yukon's chief medical officer of health is asking residents, especially those with asthma, lung or heart conditions, to take special precautions as forest fire smoke drifts into Yukon communities.

Yukon’s chief medical officer of health is asking residents, especially those with asthma, lung or heart conditions, to take special precautions as forest fire smoke drifts into Yukon communities.

There are over 80 active fires in the Yukon and 197 active fires in Alaska.

“Smoke can worsen a breathing condition,” said Dr. Brendan Hanley. He recommends limiting one’s physical activities and keeping medications on hand.

Smoke may cause a runny nose to itchy eyes, irritated throat and sinuses, and headaches and coughing. Small children and older people are more sensitive to the effects of smoke, though most Yukoners “will experience minimal effects from breathing in the smoke,” health officials said.

Fire smoke is a mixture of gasses and particles, and those particles can “penetrate deep into the lungs where they cause inflammation, and very fine particles can enter the blood stream and cause systemic inflammation,” explained Patricia Living, spokesperson for the Department of Health.

Anyone with concerns can call the Yukon Health Line at 811.

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