Air Quality Advisory Issued as Wildfire Smoke Blankets Region

Minnie Murray
August 16, 2018

Wildfire smoke moving into the region has prompted Metro Vancouver to issue an air quality advisory for the area as well as the Fraser Valley. Smoke and haze at the lower levels are from wildfires to the north and east, transported to the area by low-level offshore winds. There's so much smoke that KIRO 7 meteorologist Nick Allard says the haze will shave several degrees off the daytime high temperature, which is expected to top out in the mid 80s.

"Continued fire activity from the Carr, Mendocino Complex, and OR fires continue to send smoke into the area", the NCUAQMD stated in the announcement.

The smoke from the fires waft into the air and are then taken to wherever the wind blows.

And while members of sensitive groups - including kids, older adults, pregnant women, people with breathing or heart problems, people with diabetes, and people who have had strokes - should adhere to safety guidelines set by air-quality forecasters and public-health officials, bad air quality doesn't necessarily have to mean you're restricted to the treadmill or stationary bike.

The bad air was just the latest in a long summer of poor air quality for southwest Oregon. All others should limit prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. Here's a handy interactive map to track air quality across the state.

Environment Canada is asking people to find an indoor place that's cool and ventilated and to use an air conditioner that cools and filters air if possible. The only mask that the PSCAA recommends is the N95- or N100-rated masks. Please check with your doctor to see if this appropriate for you. If you absolutely must drive, make sure to keep your car's recirculation button on.

Most of the province was blanketed in smoke Wednesday due to forest fires across Western Canada.

Air quality conditions may change quickly.

In addition to being more reliable, the new site also includes meteorological data, downloadable historical data and analysis tools, and information from the Lane Regional Air Protection Agency.

As always, check with your health care provider for more specific questions and concerns.

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