Metro Vancouver Air Quality Moves To Highest Risk, Levels Worse Than Delhi

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21 August, 2018

Massive clouds of choking smoke from the wildfires has prompted air quality advisories for much of Western Canada and also forced the cancellations of two triathlons in B.C.'s Okanagan region on Sunday.

The entire province of Manitoba is under somewhat hazy skies and Environment Canada has issued an air quality alert.

The hazardous air category ranges from 310 to 500.

At 7:30 a.m., eight monitoring sites across the state registered good air quality, one as close as Kennewick.

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A thick, smoky haze has returned to Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, and the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) in many areas is as high as it has ever been in recent years. "Certainly, when I step outside and the levels of fine particulate matter are high, I find myself coughing, and it really makes you think, perhaps I need to take more measures to stay in a cleaner space".

The air quality risk, especially in BC's lower mainland, is at its very highest level. When conditions are hazardous, the Spokane Clean Air Agency recommends people with heart or lung disease or those who have had a stroke, to consult their healthcare provider about leaving the area.

"That smoke concentration is just going to increase on Monday and into Tuesday as well, as we await a trough of low pressure to push in during the middle of this week that will hopefully clear some of the air out along coastal British Columbia". An alert was also issued for today. "We'll evaluate again this evening and tomorrow morning to see if we do the same or if we up the tempo or, if the air quality gets even harsher, whether we cancel altogether".

An air pollution advisory for southern OR remains in effect until further notice.


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