News Health Unit shares ways to avoid harmful forest fire smoke SHARE ON: Rocco Frangione, staff Thursday, Jul. 12th, 2018 Field is one of many communities that has seen smoke from forest fires drift into its area. Photo credit: Nanditta Colbear The persistent forest fires have resulted in smoke and haze drifting into some communities. That’s prompted some tips from the North Bay-Parry Sound District Health Unit to help avoid health issues. The health unit’s Manager of Emergency Management, Greg Rochon, says everyone to some degree is vulnerable to smoke. “However it can be particularly harmful to children, seniors and pregnant women,” Rochon said. “It can also affect people with chronic lung and heart problems.” Rochon says another group the smoke could affect are people like joggers. He says in all cases, the best defence to avoid the smoke is to get out of that environment by going indoors and keeping the windows closed with the air conditioner on. As for the joggers, Rochon suggests they consider taking a different path or route that keeps them away from the smoky environment. Rochon says the smoke can create symptoms like a runny nose, scratchy throat, irritated sinuses, headaches and maybe even a cough. He says if the symptoms persist even after you’re no longer in an area where forest fire smoke is present, the person should call their health care provider. Rochon says the health unit hasn’t received any calls about people suffering from smoke effects. But he says people have called the agency asking for ways to protect themselves during this time.