New open-burning restrictions have been put in place by the District of Kitimat in efforts to help in the fight against COVID-19. (File photo)

Burning restrictions in response to COVID-19 issued for District of Kitimat

All current Class A and Class B open burning permits are suspended until at least April 15

In response to recommendations by the BC Centre for Diesease Control (BCCDC) the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy has issued open burning restrictions for “High Smoke Sensitivity Zones” across the Province, including within the District of Kitimat.

All current Class A and Class B open burning permits are suspended at this time and no new open burn permits will be issued until further notice. Currently contained residential backyard fires are still allowed.

“Top health officials from the provincial and federal governments have stated that actions taken during the course of the next week(s) will be critical in out fight to stop the spread of COVID-19,” the District said in a release.

“We request everyone in Kitimat remain vigilant in efforts to prevent the spread.”

READ MORE: Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP calling for halt on out-of-province sports fishing licenses in B.C.

The BCCDC is recommending that individual municipalities and districts implement measures to help reduce excess air pollution in airsheds across the province.

“There is strong evidence that exposure to air pollution increases susceptibility to respiratory viral infections by decreasing immune function,” the District said.

The restrictions issued by the District will remain in place until at least April 15.

During the 2003 SARS outbreak, studies showed that elevated air pollution exposure resulted in approximately double the risk of death than in those breathing in relatively fresh air.
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