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General News · 27th March 2020
Elaine Popove SRD
SRD NEWS RELEASE
March 26, 2020 - Provincial government issues open burning restrictions for portions of the Strathcona Regional District

Campbell River, BC – The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy in collaboration with provincial public health partners have issued open burning restrictions effective immediately for all High Smoke Sensitivity Zones across the province until Wednesday April 15th, 2020.

No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires. Campfires which are defined as a fire less than 50 cm used for heat, cooking or recreational purposes using firewood are still permitted.

High Sensitive Smoke Areas are shown below in yellow. This applies to portions of Gold River, Sayward, Campbell River, Electoral Area D (Oyster Bay / Buttle Lake), Cortes Island, Quadra Island and surrounding areas.

A zoomable map of the High Smoke Sensitivity Area can be viewed online at: https://governmentofbc.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=6d288bc667b24528a5c1e3b4c0373d07

Real-time air quality observations and information regarding the health effects of air pollution can be found at https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water

For further information please contact the Coastal Fire Centre at 250-951-4209 or e-mail bcws.cofcinformationofficergov.bc.ca

As cases of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in BC continue to increase, the BC Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated airsheds across the province. There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function.

This means that:
Deterioration in air quality may lead to more COVID-19 infections overall,
Deterioration in air quality may lead to more cases of severe COVID-19 infections, adding further demand to our healthcare system, and
Improvements to air quality may help to protect the whole population from COVID-19 and its potentially severe effects.

The Strathcona Regional District is a partnership of four electoral areas and five municipalities providing services to approximately 44,000 residents.

Media contact:
Shaun Koopman, SRD Protective Services Coordinator
250-830-6702 skoopmansrd.ca