Metro Vancouver Regional District has issued an air quality advisory due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone that are expected to last until a change in weather.
The advisory is in effect for Metro Vancouver’s Northeast and Southeast regions, and the central and eastern Fraser Valley regions.
The lower air quality and haze is being linked to two out-of-control wildfires burning near Harrison Lake. Hot and sunny weather in combination with local emissions and wildfire smoke has resulted in elevated levels of ground-level ozone.
The regional district issued the advisory on Wednesday afternoon, saying it will remain in effect until further notice. At the time, Abbotsford was experiencing the worst air quality conditions with an AQ marker of 8, according to data on airmap.ca.
Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds, temperatures, and wildfire behaviour changes.
There are steps people can take to be more comfortable during an air quality advisory.
The regional district suggests postponing or reducing outdoor physical activity while fine particulate matter and ozone concentrations are high, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable or for those with underlying health conditions, outdoor workers, seniors, children, pregnant people and those who are unhoused.
If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, seek prompt medical attention. Check in on family, friends and neighbours often. Call 9-1-1 in the case of an emergency.
Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at airmap.ca.