British Columbia Coroners Service issues public safety bulletin about wildfire smoke as it investigates death of nine-year-old boy related to an existing medical condition aggravated by smoke

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VICTORIA, British Columbia , July 18, 2023 (press release) –

As confirmed by his parents, the BC Coroners Service is investigating the death of nine-year-old Carter Vigh of 100 Mile House, related to an existing medical condition aggravated by wildfire smoke.

The sudden and unexpected death of this young boy is a heartbreaking loss for his family and community.

As the province experiences greater impacts from the effects of climate change, British Columbians are learning more about the risks associated with wildfire smoke, extreme heat and other environmental factors. This greater awareness can help us respond when risks are identified.

The tragic loss of life during the 2021 heat dome resulted in far greater public awareness of the potentially fatal impacts of extreme heat. Our communities are now becoming more aware of the risks presented by wildfire smoke and the measures that can be taken to reduce those risks.

The Province issues air-quality advisories and smoky-skies bulletins whenever an area of B.C. has been or is reasonably expected to be impacted by wildfire smoke. British Columbians can sign up to be automatically notified of air-quality warnings via an air-quality subscription service.

Smoke from wildfires is especially dangerous for people with pre-existing heart and lung conditions, older people, and infants and young children.

The best ways to protect yourself from the impacts of the smoke are to reduce exposure by:

  • staying indoors with windows closed;
  • keeping windows closed and air conditioning on when driving;
  • reducing time spent outdoors and avoiding rigorous outdoor exercise;
  • using high-quality, portable air cleaners with HEPA filtration to remove smoke particles from indoor air; and
  • visiting places with controlled air supply, such as shopping malls, swimming pools or public libraries.

Learn More:

Wildfire smoke (BC Centre on Disease Control):

Sign up here for the air-quality subscription service:

  Ryan Panton
Strategic Communications and Media Relations
BC Coroners Service
236 478-1582

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