The Metro Vancouver Regional District is
continuing an Air Quality Advisory for the Eastern Fraser Valley which includes
the communities of Chilliwack, Agassiz, and Hope because of high
concentrations of fine
particulate matter, primarily due to smoke from wildfires
burning in BC, Washington and Oregon, including the Flood Falls Trail
wildfire burning near Hope. Smoke concentrations may vary widely as
winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.The Metro
Vancouver Regional District has ended the fine particulate matter Air
Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Central Fraser Valley that
has been in effect since September 10. Air quality has gradually improved but
local haze is likely to persist through tomorrow (September 15). A more
substantial change in the weather is forecast to occur on Friday
(September 16) and will further improve air quality. While the advisory
has ended for portions of the airshed, fine particulate matter concentrations
are still somewhat elevated.
particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid
or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5
can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.
reduce outdoor physical activity while PM2.5 concentrations are
high, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable. Exposure to PM2.5
is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung
disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma
and/or diabetes; individuals with respiratory infections; pregnant women and
infants; children; older adults; and outdoor workers (e.g. construction and
agricultural workers). Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be
at elevated risk (e.g. people who are experiencing homelessness or are
spaces with HEPA air filtration and air conditioning can offer relief from
both air pollution and heat. Consider setting up a clean air space in your
home by running a portable HEPA air cleaner in one or more rooms or visiting
a public building with air conditioning (e.g., community centre, library,
mall, etc.). As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is
also important to stay cool and hydrated. If it is hot, also consider using a
portable air conditioner to keep your indoor space comfortable (if you do not
have central air conditioning).
If you are
experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing
or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Call 911 in the case of an
on the health effects of wildfire smoke and information on how to reduce
exposures, such as using air filtration, can be found at www.bccdc.ca/health-info/prevention-public-health/wildfire-smoke.
Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada,
Fraser Valley Regional District and BC Ministry of Environment and Climate
Change Strategy to look after air quality.
about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley
communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca
To sign up
for air quality alerts in your area, go to www.metrovancouver.org/services/air-quality/engagement/mailing-list.