Island Health and the Ministry of the Environment have decided to extend their air quality advisory for another 3 days.

The advisory has been in place since November 16th because weather conditions combined with a lot of open burning in the area have led to increased pollution levels.

Open burning restrictions have been renewed for the Cowichan Valley.  Within 15 kilometres of Duncan City Hall, no new fires will be allowed and no material can be added to existing fires.

Island Health is also telling people with chronic conditions, especially things like asthma, to stay away from places where there’s a lot of smoke in the air, avoid strenuous activity, and consider staying indoors.

Tips to reduce your personal health risk:
-Avoid 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 is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.
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 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 air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.