BURN BAN AND WIDESPREAD SMOKE IMPACTING REGIONAL AIR QUALITY IN EFFECT
June 5, 2023
FROM CITY OF KINGSTON: OPEN AIR BURN BAN IN EFFECT
Due to the dry conditions and fire risk a total open-air burn ban has been put in place for the City of Kingston effective 1 p.m. Monday June 5. The ban applies to the entire municipality and will be enforced, effective immediately. The ban will remain in place until Kingston Fire and Rescue deems it is no longer needed.
While the ban is in effect the following is prohibited:
Setting off Fireworks.
All open air fires, including Campfires, Outdoor Appliance Fires, Agricultural Fires and Brush Fires.
You may still use propane and natural gas appliances, smokers, barbeques and charcoal appliances, however, please exercise extreme caution.
A number of large and out-of-control wildfires are burning across the country. Fires in Ontario and Quebec in particular are reducing air quality in the city. Given the current dry conditions Kingston Fire and Rescue is taking the step of introducing a burn ban, along with our mutual-aid partners in Frontenac and Lennox and Addington to protect the community.
The City will continue to monitor the situation and will provide an update when conditions change.d
AIR QUALITY WARNING IN EFFECT DUE TO WIDESPREAD SMOKE, HEALTH AND SAFETY STRATEGIES
FROM ENVIRONMENT CANADA
Smoke is causing or expected to cause poor air quality and reduced visibility. High levels of air pollution are expected due to smoke from forest fires. Smoke plumes from local forest fires as well as forest fires in Quebec have resulted in deteriorated air quality. Poor air quality will persist through the day today and possibly through Tuesday for some areas. Air quality and visibility due to wildfire smoke can fluctuate over short distances and can vary considerably from hour to hour. For more details, please consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.
Wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations. Everyone can take action to reduce their exposure to wildfire smoke. People with lung disease (such as asthma) or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people, and people who work outdoors are at higher risk of experiencing health effects caused by wildfire smoke. Speak with your health care provider about developing a management plan for wildfire smoke events and maintaining a supply of necessary medications at home and always carrying these medications with you during wildfire season. \
Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you or someone in your care feel unwell. Contact your health care provider or local health authority if you develop severe symptoms or need advice. Check the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) and monitor your symptoms. People respond differently to smoke. Mild irritation and discomfort are common, and usually disappear when the smoke clears. Drinking lots of water can help your body cope with the smoke.
If you have an HVAC system in your home, use the highest rated MERV filter for your system (ideally rated 13 or higher) and set the fan to recirculate air constantly. You can also use a portable High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) air cleaner.
Keep your doors and windows closed if the temperature in your home is comfortable. Take a break from the smoke at a location in your community where you can find clean, cool air. If you must spend time outdoors, a well-fitted respirator type mask (such as a NIOSH certified N95 or equivalent respirator) that does not allow air to pass through small openings between the mask and face, can help reduce your exposure to the fine particles in smoke.
These fine particles generally pose the greatest risk to health. However, respirators do not reduce exposure to the gases in wildfire smoke. It is important to listen to your body and reduce or stop activities if you are experiencing symptoms. Be sure to check on people in your care and those around you who may be more susceptible to smoke.
Reduce sources of indoor air pollution. If you can, avoid smoking or vaping indoors, burning incense and candles, frying foods, using wood stoves and vacuuming. Dust on indoor surfaces can be removed by wiping and wet mopping during a pollution episode.
If you experience any feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression, contact your mental health care provider for advice or visit https://www.wellnesstogether.ca/en-CA.
Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values. Please continue to monitor alerts and forecasts issued by Environment Canada. Issued by Environment Canada and the Province of Ontario