Air quality advisory continues as wildfire smoke blankets Metro Vancouver

Sep 11 2020, 9:01 am

An air quality advisory issued over Metro Vancouver earlier this week continues to remain in place.

According to Environment Canada, the “special air quality statement” is in effect for:

  • Metro Vancouver – NE
  • Metro Vancouver – NW
  • Metro Vancouver – SE
  • Metro Vancouver – SW

The weather agency says that “wildfire smoke from fires in Washington and Oregon are expected to intermittently impact the region.”

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.

Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air, but rather it is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

“Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.”

In the meantime, anyone with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 is advised to postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, “especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.”

Friday marks the fourth day that the advisory has been in effect.

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