Fraser Valley -AUGUST 13 UPDATE – Environment Canada has renewed the Air Quality Advisory. Wildfires from High Creek as well as the BC Interior and smoke coming up from California have contributed to the thick acrid smell in the air.
AUGUST 10 – Environment Canada expanded the air quality advisory to include fine particulate matter in the eastern Fraser Valley as levels of fine particulate matter may reach advisory levels due to wildfire smoke.
Wildfires burning in Agassiz (High Creek), Chilliwack (Nixon Road) and east of Manning Park are contributing to localized smoke concentrations.
Temperatures are expected to drop to 20C on Saturday with showers expected to clear the air.
AUGUST 8 – Just a week after the FVRD dropped the air quality advisory, the heat is back on and so are the concerns for seniors, kids and those with breathing problems and immune deficiency.
An Air Quality Advisory has been issued for the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone that are expected to persist until a change in weather. Avoid strenuous activities during mid-afternoon to early evening when ozone levels are highest.
AUGUST 1 UPDATE – With the ocean breeze making its way into the Valley, as well as lower temperatures, the Air Quality Advisory has been dropped, although there remains some haze in the sky. That is from wildfires in Washington State, Alaska and in BC. Temperature models show that after the BC Day long weekend, temperatures will ramp up back to 30C and the possibility of the advisory returning is very real.
JULY 31 UPDATE – An Air Quality Advisory is continuing for the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of ground-level ozone. The air quality advisory has been expanded on Monday to include fine particulate matter due to wildfire smoke from outside the region as well as local sources.
JULY 29 ORIGINAL STORY – As this extended heat wave continues, this should come as no surprise.
Due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone, an air quality advisory has been issued for the Fraser Valley. These conditions tare expected to persist for a few days.
This advisory is for ground-level ozone, however there is a noticeable haze in the region which is due to a layer of wildfire smoke over the South Coast from distant wildfires burning in Eurasia and Alaska, as well as a bog fire in Richmond. Wildfire smoke concentrations are not causing particulate matter air quality objectives to be exceeded.
Ground-level ozone is not emitted directly into the air. It is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight. The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.
Avoid strenuous outdoor activities during mid-afternoon to early evening, when ozone levels are highest. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as lung or heart disease and asthma. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated. Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.
This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.
The FVRD works in cooperation with Metro Vancouver, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy to look after air quality.
Information about real-time air quality readings can be found at www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html.