Air quality advisory ends for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Wind change means wildfire smoke no longer blowing this way, halting 'unprecedented' levels of fine particulate

Air Quality Health Index shows the degree of risk to health from degraded air quality from Monday through Friday for the central Fraser Valley.

An air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley due to wildfire smoke blowing into the region has been lifted.

Lower Mainland residents are breathing easier because of more favourable wind conditions from a change in the weather pattern.

“We’ve seen wind coming from a cleaner direction,” said Julie Saxton, an air quality planner for Metro Vancouver.

“That wind has been quite strong in places. That has brought us some cleaner air and helped move the smoke out of our area.”

Some drizzle in a few areas has also helped, and more showers are in the forecast for the weekend.

The advisory was first issued last Sunday for Metro Vancouver and unprecedented levels of fine particulate three to four times the region’s objective were measured at several test stations over the initial 24 hours.

“This has been a very unusual and difficult week for everybody here,” Saxton said.

“The concentrations of fine particulate matter we saw, especially in the early part of the week on Sunday and Monday, were among the highest I’ve ever seen for this area.”

The Fraser Valley was added to the areas under advisory Monday and elevated levels of ground-level ozone were listed as an additional factor starting Wednesday.

Saxton said the arrival of cloud and cooler temperatures by Friday also helped stop the generation of ground-level ozone, which is caused when nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (from vehicle emissions, solvents and vegetation) react in sunlight on hot days.

It’s impossible to say whether the smoke will be back in the days ahead, Saxton said, noting wildfire activity and wind direction are both unpredictable.

Residents can get real-time data on air quality and short-term forecasts online at bcairquality.ca or airmap.ca.

Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma said area hospitals saw higher than usual numbers of patients treated for respiratory difficulties.

 

Satellite view last weekend of the wildfire smoke concentrated over southwestern B.C.  NASA image.

Just Posted

Five calls on local highways, mountains for Hope rescue squad

Injured hikers, injured motorists and one casualty has Hope SAR team busy

WATCH: RCMP Musical Ride to perform in Hope Thursday

The countdown is on as organizers prepare for the arrival of 32 horses, riders and hundreds of spectators

Campfire ban coming into effect across West Coast

The Coastal Fire Centre says bans will begin on Wednesday

Oversize load collides with Highway 1 overpass in Chilliwack

Traffic disrupted eastbound around Lickman Road over pass Monday morning

Climber with broken leg rescued after fall into ravine near Mt. Ogilvie

The 26-year-old had a flare to show rescuers where he was.

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

UPDATED: Crews search for missing swimmer at Buntzen Lake near Coquitlam

A male swimmer went missing at 4:30 p.m Tuesday

5 to start your day

Campfire ban comes into effect, Rich Coleman backs away from Surrey mayorship and more

Lower Mainland cools down as heat wave lifts

Environment Canada predicts temperatures in the mid to low 20s

Kitten OK after being rescued from underground pipe in B.C.

An adventurous feline has been rescued after getting trapped in an underground pipe in Kamloops, B.C.

A day after back-tracking, Trump defends summit performance

Amid bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, Trump at first sought to end 27 hours of recrimination by delivering a rare admission of error Tuesday.

Thai soccer players rescued from cave meet the media

Members of the Thai youth soccer team who were trapped in a cave have left the hospital where they have been treated since their rescue.

Elon Musk apologizes for calling cave rescue diver a ‘pedo’

Musk called a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile to his 22.3 million Twitter followers on July 15.

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

Justin Trudeau shuffleS his front bench Wednesday to install the roster of ministers that will be entrusted with leading the Liberal team into next year’s election.

Most Read