Air Quality Advisory Issued

July 31, 2017

An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter that are expected to persist for several days.

Air quality today is currently good, but conditions are expected to change by tomorrow. The developing weather pattern over the BC Coast is causing outflow winds to carry smoke from wildfires burning in the BC Interior towards our region. Air quality forecast models are predicting smoke from these wildfires may reach ground-level in our region by early tomorrow morning. This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.

Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, as well as fire behaviour.

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 their small size.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.

The Fraser Valley Regional District works in cooperation with Metro Vancouver, Environment and Climate Change Canada,  and B.C. Ministry of Environment to look after air quality.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/airland-water/air.

For more information, contact Sarah Lusk, Senior Media Relations Strategist, Media Relations,  604-451-6697 (office), 604-318-5073 (cell).