May 6, 2019 7:42 pm
Updated: May 6, 2019 9:13 pm

British Columbians stocking up on air filters ahead of wildfire season

WATCH: British Columbians stocking up for wildfire season


After terrible back-to-back wildfire seasons it seems like many British Columbians are stocking up for potential fires this summer.

Last August the air quality was so bad in some parts of the province that both Prince George and Quesnel were listed in the top 10 most polluted cities in the world.

Craig Lawday of the Filter Shop said his company’s manufacturing “has already ramped up, knowing what’s coming.”

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He said they have always done business with places like hospitals, where air filters are critical, but they are increasingly getting calls from businesses and homeowners.

“Right now already for this year I’m seeing a lot more people calling,” Lawday told Global News, “and asking, ‘What should we do? How can we prepare?’ and a lot of questions on what kind of products that they should use.”

READ MORE: U.S. warns of another busy wildfire season, but B.C. cautious to sound alarm

For many people in the worst-affected areas, another smoky summer will mean more time spent indoors.

Jan Jordan of the Abbotsford Better Breathers Support Group has been living with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for 10 years.

Her maintenance program that involves diet and regular exercise.

READ MORE: Breathing easy: How to avoid the long-term health consequences of B.C. wildfire smoke

She says another wildfire season could keep her housebound.

“When you’re stuck in the house day after day after day because of the air quality it gets depressing,” she said. “Not being able to walk, not being able to exercise is very debilitating.”

In addition to having quality air purifiers, she says people with breathing issues need a Plan B when it comes to being active. She says she has plans to stay active by visiting safe zones such as shopping malls or recreation centres.

WATCH: B.C. firefighters gather in Penticton for wild-land fire training

She said a good plan is better than trying to leave town temporarily as there is no guarantee that you will find yourself in an area with better air quality.

“I remember one year going to Fort St. John to run from [the smoke],” she said. “My goodness sakes, if that jetstream just didn’t take it right up there.

“You’re not going to get away from it.”

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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