Metro air quality reached ‘exceptionally high readings’

Shift in winds could bring relief as area goes through heat wave

  • Jul. 9, 2015 10:00 a.m.

The air quality advisory for the Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver is expected to continue today.

“We’re watching the situation. It’s possible there could be a change by Friday,” said Julie Saxton, air quality planner with Metro.

She noted there are still high readings of ground level ozone and fine particulate matter, drifting into the region from wildfires around the province and in Washington state.

Early in the week there were “exceptionally high readings,” which have since improved.

Saxton said weather reports call for a change in wind direction, which could bring cleaner air.

At the same time, forest fires can be unpredictable.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty with wildfire smoke,” said Saxton. “It’s a fairly complex condition of factors.”

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous activities until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment Canada, the Fraser Valley Regional District 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 a www.airmap.ca and www.bcairquality.ca.