An Air Quality Advisory issued Tuesday for Metro Vancouver is being extended to Thursday, as the smoky haze from BC wildfires continues to engulf the city.
According to Environment Canada, the current weather pattern over the BC Coast has caused outflow winds to transport smoke from the wildfires towards our region.
With it comes fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, which are airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less.
Note that due to its small size, fine particulate matter can easily get indoors.
Meanwhile, concentrations of ground-level ozone are also expected to reach advisory levels in the region due to hot weather conditions, said the agency.
Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in sunlight.
Exposure to ozone and fine particulate matter is of concern for infants, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions like lung disease, heart disease, diabetes or asthma.
Vancouverites are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities, particularly during mid-afternoon and early evening when ozone levels are highest.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider, says Environment Canada.
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Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, as well as fire behaviour.
The advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.
Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found here.