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Air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Last Updated Aug 29, 2017 at 3:16 pm PST

(Courtesy @DonnaMMedeiro via Twitter)

LOWER MAINLAND (NEWS 1130) – A new Air Quality Advisory has been issued for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter.

That’s mainly due to wildfires burning in the US. Smoke has travelled into our region from wildfires in Northern California, Oregon, and Washington state.

“There’s some satellite imagery that… very clear and stunning pictures of this river of smoke flowing north. Most of the smoke is moving to the east of us, so we’re really on the kind of western edge of this big plume of smoke,” says Francis Ries with Metro Vancouver’s air quality division

“This has been quite a summer, obviously. It’s almost no surprise that we would have at least one more of these events before the summer was through,” he tells us.

You are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities, particularly during mid-afternoon and early evening hours. That’s when ozone levels are highest. This is particularly important for babies, the elderly, and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, or asthma.

Conditions are expected to persist until tomorrow.

“We’re going to see a bit of a push of marine air overnight tonight, and then toward the end of the day tomorrow they’re expecting a small cold front to push down from the north,” Ries says.

“And so those two things together we expect will disturb the atmosphere enough that we’re likely to see things clearing out.”

The last air quality advisory for the region lifted less than three weeks ago; that advisory was prompted by wildfires within the province.