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Metro Vancouver continues air quality advisory due to wildfire smoke

Last Updated Sep 10, 2020 at 3:24 pm PST

The hills above Rocky Point in Port Moody, B.C. covered in a smoky haze. Image Credit: CityNews

Metro Vancouver is continuing the air quality advisory that's been in effect this week

Air quality was good in the morning, but the smoke from wildfires is expected to move throughout the region later

The worst of the smoke is in spots like California, Oregon and Washington

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — The air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley has been continued due to wildfires in the Interior and along the U.S. West Coast.

Air quality was good Thursday morning, but the smoke from the fires is expected to move throughout the region later in the day and Friday.

The worst of the smoke is in spots like California, Oregon and Washington state, according to NEWS 1130 meteorolgist Michael Kuss, though we’re still getting a little from fires in the B.C. Interior.

“That smoke has made it over the Cascades again, and it’s pooling up around Puget Sound,” he said.

Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes, according to Metro Vancouver, which cancelled the ground-level ozone advisory.

READ ALSO: Air quality advisory issued for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Kuss expects smoke to start developing around the lower island, around Victoria, with some of that ending up in the Lower Mainland.

A shift in the weather is expected as the weekend comes to an end, he added, with rain possibly falling Monday or Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Metro Vancouver advises further that people with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections, such as COVID-19, should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the air advisory is lifted, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.

Exposure to fine particulate matter is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions, such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and diabetes.

Individuals with respiratory infections, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults, as well as individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk, Metro Vancouver says.

“As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with HEPA air cleaner filtration and air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution, but physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19 should still be observed. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.”