Published: Wed, August 22, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Lower Mainland air quality levels among the worst in recent years

Lower Mainland air quality levels among the worst in recent years

Unsurprisingly, Metro Vancouver's air quality advisory remains in effect moving into the new week. "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".

As large cities dealt with unhealthy air for a second summer in a row, experts warn that it could become more common as the American West faces larger and more destructive wildfires because of heat and drought blamed on climate change.

The Wildfire Service said the smoke in the Kamloops Fire Centre made it hard to see new fires on the weekend and limited its use of aircraft to fight the blazes.

Air-quality readings are off the chart in parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as smoke from B.C. wildfires heads south.

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Latest updates on the fires can be found via the B.C. Wildfire Service and Emergency Info B.C.

Kathy, from Skyway, sent this photo in Monday night, says her auto picked up a dusting of ash.

The smoky pollution came from wildfires in British Columbia and the Cascade Mountains, clouding a season that many spend outdoors.

The air quality was so bad that everyone, regardless of physical condition or age, will likely be affected, according to the Spokane Regional Clean Air Agency.

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If you're anxious about the air quality in your home and don't already own an air purifier, you can build one for less than $20 if you have a box fan.

"When we start to usually see issues is with orange which is unhealthy for sensitive groups so you're talking about the elderly, children, pregnant woman and people with respiratory illness", she said.

MPCA meteorologists say the smoke-related alerts are also unusual in that they're not being attributed to nearby fires - they're blazes in British Columbia. That also means clouds and even a slight chance of showers.

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