VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — While conditions are getting better, wildfire smoke drifting in is a lingering concern for Metro Vancouver.
Global readings still place Vancouver in one of the top spots in the world for the worst air quality, with the average AQI readings still above 200, which is in the “unhealthy” range. Vancouver was second only to Portland as of Wednesday afternoon.
Kyle Howe, the air quality planner with Metro Vancouver, says their air quality advisory — which has been in place since the Sept. 8 — will likely continue until at least Friday.
“Well we’ve seen improvement across the region, there really isn’t a particular spot that is better than other places. I will say, parts of the Fraser Valley — places like Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope — do appear to have slightly lower concentrations,” he says.
It may appear #AirQuality is worse than ever this am, but upon closer inspection we find most areas reporting lower concentrations of #wildfire #smoke (PM2.5) but higher relative #humidity. Abbotsford’s mix of #fog & #haze is only one example of many across the Lower Mainland. pic.twitter.com/g8B2OXphTw
— Russ Lacate (@NEWS1130Weather) September 16, 2020
“Partially that has to do with the meteorological conditions that they experience out there. In these sort of smoke events, we do see that smoke varies widely across the region and it can change quite rapidly.”
Metro Vancouver warns smoke is still coming from the fire at New Westminster’s Park Pier, with authorities asking people to avoid the area and to stay indoors whenever possible.
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry recommended wearing masks outside because of the air quality.
Air quality advisories extended for southern B.C. – The bad air is prompting Canada Post to suspend deliveries in some communities and WorkSafeBC is dealing with an increase in calls related to outdoor working conditions. @GS_Harper reports. @NEWS1130 @CityNewsVAN pic.twitter.com/XVzWPevHSk
— Breakfast Television Vancouver (@BT_Vancouver) September 16, 2020
Poor air quality has also prompted service alerts from Canada Post this week as a safety precaution for its employees. Some areas in southern B.C. had delivery cancelled altogether, while the company says it was doing its best to deliver in areas where conditions have improved.
Meanwhile, calls have been on the rise to WorkSafeBC over concerns about Metro Vancouver’s air quality.