B.C. firefighters and support staff in Yukon to help battle wildfires

·1 min read

DAWSON CITY, Yukon — Firefighters and support staff from British Columbia have been deployed to Yukon to help battle two wildfires that are impacting travel on a major route.

The Yukon government says in a release that most of the 150 personnel will be focusing their efforts on suppressing the Crystal Creek and Upper Willow Creek fires affecting the North Klondike Highway.

It says a fire camp with kitchen facilities, warehouses and management offices has been set up at Pelly Crossing, where a total of 165 people will be housed.

The territory says 166 wildfires are currently burning in Yukon.

Environment Canada has issued an air quality statement for five communities due to smoke from wildfires.

It says smoke is expected or occurring in Dawson City, Mayo, Old Crow and from Pelly to Carmacks.

The agency says smoke is reducing visibility and people may experience increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath.

Children, seniors and those with heart disease or lung issues like asthma are especially at risk.

Environment Canada says that wearing a mask is generally not the best way to protect against pollutants and may lead to a false sense of security. It's encouraging residents to decrease their physical activity and time spent outdoors.

It also advises checking local weather forecasts and alerts so people know when to take extra care from wildfire smoke, which includes many potentially harmful chemicals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 10, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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