March 31, 2020
Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy Issues Open Burning Restriction in Nelson and Other High Smoke Sensitivity Zones in British Columbia
Nelson, BC - As cases of COVID-19 in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) has recommended the implementation of measures to decrease excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections (like COVID-19) by decreasing immune function. This evidence suggests that:
- Deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall;
- Deterioration in air quality may increase the severity of the symptoms of
- COVID-19, adding pressure to our healthcare system, and;
- Improvements to air quality may help protect the whole population from
- COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects.
The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners has restricted open burning in parts of the province, including Nelson. As a result, there will be no spring backyard burn period in Nelson this year.
“To promote clean air during the COVID-19 pandemic, Nelson Fire & Rescue Services is asking the public to limit their use of wood-burning appliances.” says Acting Fire Chief, Mike Daloise. He adds “We are asking the public to reduce air pollutants and increase air quality by only using wood stoves or fireplaces if they are your primary sources of heat. By reducing the amount of smoke entering the air in and around Nelson, we will be helping our neighbours with respiratory issues or weaker immune systems – let’s do our part.”
While the public’s focus to prevent the spread of infection should be social distancing, staying home and washing your hands frequently, keeping our air as clean as possible will also help protect our community during this time
Read the full media release from the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.For more information please contact:
Nelson Fire & Rescue Services
Tel: (250) 352-3103