Smoke smells caused Maple Ridge Fire Rescue to be paged out by alarmed residents on Thursday morning, but responding firefighters found the callers had detected fire smoke drifting into the area from forest fires in the Interior.
“The outflow conditions for the Interior are pushing smoke this way,” said Fire Chief Howard Exner.
He noted the smells are most obvious in eastern regions of Maple Ridge, but he was able to detect smoke in the air at Fire Hall 1, at Dewdney Trunk Road and 227th Street.
He said emergency operators will question callers to try and determine they are calling about a wildfire or Interior smoke.
“It’ll be something we deal with for a few days, until the weather conditions change,” said Exner.
At the same time, air quality has been dramatically impacted by the smoke coming from wildfires near Hope, Harrison, and from Washington State. An air quality advisory was issued for Metro Vancouver on Thursday afternoon, and the Air Quality Index indicated a high health risk.
Smoke concentrations will vary as wind and temperatures change.
Health officials say to avoid outdoor activities and strenuous exercise especially those with respiratory issues and chronic health conditions.
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