Smoky skies, particulate leads to air quality warning for Metro Vancouver

Aug 3 2021, 8:45 am

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality advisory warning for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley as wildfire smoke moves into the region.

The caution is in regards to “high concentrations” of fine particulate matter and hazy skies expected over the next few days.

“Smoke from wildfires burning in the interior of BC and Washington has moved into and over our region, contributing to elevated fine particulate matter concentrations and hazy skies,” the agency said in a bulletin Tuesday morning.

The advisory warns that fine particulate matter, airborne solid or liquid droplets, can easily make its way indoors because of its small size.

Those with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 are advised to postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted.

Exposure to fine particulate matter is of concern for pregnant women, children, older adults, and people experiencing homelessness.

Anyone experiencing chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing should seek prompt medical attention.

Indoor spaces with HEPA air filtration systems may offer relief from air pollution.

The advisory noted that onshore winds are expected on Tuesday and may begin to clear the smoke and hazy skies.

Zoe DemarcoZoe Demarco

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