Air quality improvements that began Sunday have continued Sunday night and many areas are now seeing considerable improvements in particulate matter concentrations. However, fire activity is still widespread and the potential remains for smoke to return.
Communities downwind of wildfires will continue to experience periods of elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter and poor air quality. However increased dispersion from winds aloft combined with scattered showers over the coming days will lead to improvement for some regions.
During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour.
Wildfire smoke is a natural part of our environment but it is important to be mindful that exposure to smoke may affect your health.
People with pre-existing health conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.
For general information about wildfire smoke and your health, contact HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 (toll free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week).
Stay inside if you have breathing difficulties. Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.
Be air aware! Check your local weather forecasts and alerts so you know when to take extra care.
For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.