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Air quality at multiple B.C. communities at ‘very high risk’

Last Updated Aug 19, 2018 at 6:27 pm PST

(Credit: Marie Dimmery/Twitter)

Multiple communities in B.C. have been placed under 'very high risk'

Smoke is expected to worsen in the next two days

BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – As more than 500 wildfires continue to burn across the province, smoke has prompted an air quality advisory for multiple communities.

As of Aug. 19, 10 communities had reached “high risk” levels:


-Fraser Valley (Central)


-Okanagan (Central)

-Okanagan (North)

-Okanagan (South)

-Prince George



-Williams Lake

According to the Ministry of Environment, “very high risk” means people should avoid strenuous activities outdoors due to the high concentrations of smoke particles in the air. Children and seniors should also avoid any physical exertion.

Multiple communities across B.C. were also placed under “high” and “moderate” risk ratings.

(Ministry of Environment)

“We expect the effects of the smoke, in terms of visibility, in terms of the thickness of the smoke obscuring the sky, that’s going to be the worst for the next two days,” said Jonathan Bau with Environment Canada. “Definitely as the flow weakens, then we’re going to start to get a little bit of ventilation.”

Air quality planner for Metro Vancouver Julie Saxton explains it’s hard to say when the smoke will clear.

RELATED: Heavy smoke and poor air quality force cancellation of two Okanagan triathlons

“It’s really difficult to predict the behaviour of smoke, and particularly when it’s transported,” she said. “So it really depends on the weather and also, fire conditions and the amount of smoke being emitted.”

Saxton said those with medical conditions should stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities.

-With files form Taran Parmar