Forest fires damaging local air quality

 

Smoke from wildfires is polluting the air in the Lower Mainland, and Metro Vancouver warned local residents who have breathing problems.

On Tuesday, Metro Vancouver issued an Air Quality Advisory for both Metro and the Fraser Valley Regional District because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter.

People with medical conditions should avoid strenuous exercise until the warning is lifted, according to the warning. Staying indoors in air conditioned spaces helps reduce exposure to the particulates.

Infants, the elderly, those with diabetes, and lung or heart disease are most at risk.

Avoiding roads with heavy traffic and areas with wood smoke were advised, and staying cool and drinking plenty of water.

People whose symptoms worsened were advised to see doctors.

The advisory was expected to run through to Aug. 13 when rainshowers were likely to knock down some of the particulates.

Until rain arrived in Langley on Tuesday, weather had been unseasonably dry and hot for weeks. Most of B.C. has been seeing similar conditions, and hundreds of fires have left firefighters exhausted. 

Real-time air quality readings can be found at www.airmap.ca and www.bcairquality.ca.

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