Public health advisory issued in Hay River due to dump fire

The NWT’s Chief Public Health Officer has issued a precautionary public health advisory in Hay River as smoke from the Hay River landfill fire could cause poor air quality.

According to a news release from the territorial government’s department of health and social services issued Monday afternoon, the individual level of exposure may change due to wind direction and weather conditions, but is also influenced by the level of physical activity and age.

Children, pregnant women, seniors and those with pre-existing health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung or heart conditions are most at risk.

Officials state you can reduce your risk to exposure by avoiding strenuous outdoor activities and by staying indoors with windows and doors closed.

Anyone experiencing a worsening of symptoms such as wheezing, chest discomfort, or shortness of breath should seek an assessment at the health centre without delay.

Meanwhile, the State of Emergency, caused by a fire at the dump Hay River, remained in effect as of Monday afternoon.

According to a news release issued by the town, the local state of emergency was declared by the town council at 3:00pm on Sunday.

The release states that the Hay River Fire Department has been managing an underground fire at the landfill since a week ago Sunday – that was March 3rd.

The fire flared up Saturday evening above ground and firefighting crews, supported by local heavy equipment and water supply contractors, were focusing efforts on a surface fire near the south wall of the landfill.

South winds were favourable for firefighting but were blowing smoke into the town of Hay River.

The public is asked to yield to emergency service and support crews travelling between the landfill and Hay River.

All non-emergency persons are asked to refrain from travelling to the area.

The landfill is closed to the public but garbage pickup services are continuing.

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