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Health effects from forest fire smoke

For release 14-139
May 28, 2014

WHITEHORSE—Yukon's Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, would like to remind Yukoners with asthma or lung or heart conditions to take special care as smoke from the large forest fire in southern Alaska blankets parts of Yukon.

Smoke from forest fires can often cause minor symptoms such as a runny nose and itchy eyes, irritated throat and sinuses, headaches or coughing. Individuals with asthma or chronic conditions can have more serious reactions.

"Smoke can worsen a breathing condition," Hanley says. "Stay inside if you can and keep your windows closed. Try to limit your physical activities and make sure you have your medications on hand."

People with allergies or sensitivity to smoke should also stay indoors and limit exertion.

Most Yukoners will experience minimal effects from breathing in the smoke. Anyone with concerns can call the Yukon HealthLine at 811, or contact their health care provider or community health centre.

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