Wildfire Smoke and Your Health

August 16, 2018

Smoke and air quality

If there is smoke in the air, the sky can start to look hazy before air pollutant measurements show the arrival of smoke. Sometimes, smoke can be aloft and trapped in the upper air. Air quality at the ground may be relatively good, even though conditions may appear hazy.

An air quality advisory is issued in the Lower Fraser Valley when air quality has or is expected to deteriorate. Air quality advisories contain information that describes the immediate issue, the impacts it may have, and what everyone can do to protect their health and improve air quality.

To see if there's an advisory, check our website, twitter, facebook or instagram accounts.

For residents living within the Fraser Valley Regional District but outside of the Lower Fraser Valley, a Smoky Skies Bulletin will be issued by the BC Ministry of Environment.

Who should be concerned & what should they do?

If there is smoke in the air, avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Exposure to fine particulate matter from smoke is particulaly a concern for infants, the elderly, pregnant mothers, and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes or asthma.

If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider.

Health effects & how to prepare for wildfire smoke

You can also look at the BC Lung Association for information on the health effects from wildfire smoke, how to prepare for wildfire smoke, portable air cleaners, and more.

Still need more information about air quality during wildfire smoke?

Contact the Fraser Valley Regional District: Email environment@fvrd.ca or call (604) 702-5000.