FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Saskatoon, May 5: As smoke makes its way to Saskatchewan from the catastrophic Fort McMurray forest fires, The Lung Association has growing concerns over the impact the smoke will have on the province. They are advising everyone to take measures to avoid the forest fire smoke as much as possible by staying indoors with air conditioners on recirculation setting, reducing outdoor activities, and advise against burning of all materials.
The Lung Association is asking municipalities and fire departments to put fire bans in place with Natural Resources Canada indicating that the risk for fire in Saskatchewan is extreme. The Lung Association is stressing that fire pits will not only add to the smoke, but also to the fire danger.
"Health effects from smoke can range from mild to severe and can even be life threatening. If you have lungs, the smoke from the forest fires should be of concern to you. Smoke affects everyone’s health, not just those with lung and heart disease", says Jill Hubick, Registered Nurse with The Lung Association of Saskatchewan.
Those with lung disease such as asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), need to take even more precautions including having medications up-to-date and making sure they have a fast-acting (rescue) inhaler with them at all times. Worsening asthma or COPD symptoms that are not managed can lead to an asthma emergency or a COPD lung attack, which can be just as deadly as a heart attack. Both a COPD lung attack and an asthma emergency may result in the need for hospitalization and even death.
For more information:
Jill Hubick, Registered Nurse