Continued Air Quality Advisory

August 23, 2018

The Air Quality Advisory continues for the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of particulate matter due to smoke from wildfires burning in British Columbia and the western United States. Changing weather conditions are expected to clear smoke from the region over the next 24 hours, but elevated levels of fine particulate matter may persist in some areas until tomorrow. Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region and winds and temperatures change, and as fire behaviour changes.

The air quality advisory for ground-level ozone has been lifted for the Fraser Valley that has been in effect since August 21, 2018. Ground-level ozone concentrations have improved due to cooler temperatures.

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres of less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its 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 fo 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.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Fraser Valley communities can be found at British Columbia's BC Air Quality Data Map - Air Quality Health Index.

For information about health impacts, go to Vancouver Coastal Health - Outdoor air quality or Fraser Health Authority - Air Quality.