Most of Southern B.C. including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and Boundary residents woke up to somewhat smoky skies Tuesday, Sept. 8 and provincial officials warned the smoke could last 24-48 hours. (Wendy MacLean/Facebook)

Most of Southern B.C. including the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, the Okanagan and Boundary residents woke up to somewhat smoky skies Tuesday, Sept. 8 and provincial officials warned the smoke could last 24-48 hours. (Wendy MacLean/Facebook)

Smoky skies and air quality concerns impact the Lower Mainland for a second day

Exposure is a big concern for people with underlying conditions like lung and heart conditions

Metro Vancouver renewed its air quality (AQ) advisory for a second day for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District due to high levels of fine particulate matter across the Lower Mainland.

It also issued an additional AQ advisory for ground level ozone on Sept. 9.

Smoke concentrations drifting across the border from Washington and Oregon wildfires could vary widely in the skies over the region today but the AQ conditions will persist until Thursday, said Metro Vancouver officials in a news release.

“Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable,” officials said.

“Exposure is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including bronchitis and emphysema, as well as asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, outdoor workers (e.g. construction and agricultural workers), and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk.”

Ground-level ozone is formed when nitrogen oxides from combustion and volatile organic compounds from solvents react in the air in the presence of sunlight. The highest levels are usually between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days, and the hot temperatures combined with drifting smoke on Wednesday will cause the ozone levels to increase.

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, and the drifting wildfire smoke impacts those levels.

Smoky skies also continued for a second day across the Lower Mainland due to wildfire smoke drifting into the region.

A public advisory known as a “smoky skies” bulletin was issued Sept. 8 across parts of southern B.C. including Vancouver Island, the Coastal Mainland, Okanagan, Kootenays, and the Boundary region where the smoke was expected to impact those areas within 24 to 48 hours.

The advisory from Environment Canada was based on the fire smoke forecast detailed in the Blue Sky Canada Smoke Forecasting System which tracks the current path of any significant smoke in real time.

“Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health,” according to the bulletin.

Smoke and air quality issues affect those with pre-existing health conditions the most, like lung conditions, as well as older adults, pregnant women and infants, children, and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from exposure.

READ MORE: Smoky Skies bulletin went out on Tuesday

READ MORE: Heat warnings for parts of B.C.


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

air qualitywildfire smoke

Just Posted

Shane Ertmoed’s application for Escorted Temporary Absences was granted following a hearing May 4, 2021. (File photo)
Surrey child-killer an ‘average’ risk to sexually reoffend: Parole Board

Written reasons behind approval of Shane Ertmoed’s request for escorted absences shared

Surrey council on May 10, 2021 approved the Darts Hill Neighbourhood Concept Plan. (surrey.ca screenshot)
‘Desperately needed’ NCP for South Surrey’s Darts Hill neighbourhood approved

‘Potential housing for 10,000 people’ in 130-hectare space, says mayor

Trucks line up for food during a drive-thru event on the PNE grounds last May. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)
Drive-thru food truck fest coming to North Surrey Secondary lot

School a ‘great location – high traffic, very visible, and a very large parking lot’

Volunteers unload 1,000 meal kits at the Cloverdale Community Kitchen May 12. CCK was gifted the meals from Goodfood and distributed the entire truckload to the needy in less than 24 hours. (Photo: Submitted)
Cloverdale Community Kitchen distributes 1,000 meals in less than 24 hours

Meal kits went to charities in Surrey, Langley, White Rock

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Lorna Seip touches up the mural on the wall at MRSS, working with students from the Rainbow Club. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Rainbow club puts message of inclusion at Maple Ridge School’s main entrance

Maple Ridge secondary grad says SOGI symbols are powerful

Police investigate a fatal 2011 shooting in a strip mall across from Central City Shopping Centre, which was deemed a gang hit. The Mayor’s Gang Task Force zeroed in on ways to reduce gang involvement and activity. (File photo)
COVID-19 could be a cause in public nature of B.C. gang violence: expert

Martin Bouchard says the pandemic has changed people’s routines and they aren’t getting out of their homes often, which could play a role in the brazen nature of shootings

Most Read