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Coronavirus cited as reason for temporary burning ban throughout Okanagan and Shuswap

The regional district says COVID-19 played a role in the decision to temporarily ban open burning, saying air pollution can air pollution can increase susceptibility to respiratory viral infections. Global News

Open burning has been temporarily banned in the Okanagan and Shuswap, and the novel coronavirus pandemic played a part in the decision.

On Thursday, the Regional District of the Central Okanagan announced the ban, stating it had been made in conjunction with B.C.’s ministry of environment, and that it involved “all high sensitivity zones across the province.”

According to the provincial government, the ban is in effect until April 15.

A map of the ban can be viewed here.

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“The decision comes as cases of novel coronavirus in British Columbia continue to increase,” said the regional district.

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“The BC Centre for Disease Control recommends implementing measures that help to reduce excess air pollution in populated areas. Evidence has shown that exposure to air pollution can increase susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function.”

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The restriction stretches from Sicamous in the north to Osoyoos in the south.

“During this time, no new fires may be started,” said the regional district, adding the restrictions will be evaluated daily and that changes will be made accordingly.

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