Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack looking eerie at 7 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2020, with visibility obscured due to poor air quality due to dangerously high levels of smoke particles. (Jennifer Feinberg/Chilliwack Progress)

Lower Mainland hoping for relief from blanket of smoke that has covered the region

Air quality to start improving but smoke concentrations will vary depending on winds and temperature

Air quality and smoke levels are expected to start improving slightly today in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland but the actual smoke concentrations will vary widely depending on wind currents.

Valleys tend to trap pollutants more than more open areas, and the current alert has been in place since Sept. 8.

“Smoke levels on Monday are expected to be lower,” according to the Metro Vancouver alert of Sept. 13. “However, localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.”

Poor air quality and reduced visibility were still the story early on Sept. 14, as the entire Lower Mainland region continues to be blanketed in smoke particles from fires raging in Washington, and Oregon.

The problem with the air quality is the fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, pose a very high health risk because of the airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can get indoors because of its small size and penetrate the lungs.

Anyone with chronic medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 know by this point they should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity. Exposure to PM2.5 is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk.

To see updates with real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html

READ MORE: Region’s air quality is up there with the worst

READ MOREL: Satellite tracks the smoke


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

air qualityFraser Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

John Morrow photo
Barn catches fire near Abbotsford airport

Fire closes Mt. Lehman Road between Marshall Road and Abbotsford International Airport

file
One dead after fiery crash near Agassiz

Agassiz RCMP report a 56-year-old man died Friday night

The possibility of the Canadian Premier League expanding to the Fraser Valley has been floated online. (Facebook photo)
Canadian Premier League possibly eyeing Fraser Valley expansion

Soccer league looking to add ninth team to the mix, B.C. markets potentially rumoured

The number of new COVID-19 cases in the Fraser South region has doubled in the last two weeks. The number of cases in the Fraser East region has tripled.
Chart: Tyler Olsen
COVID-19 surge in B.C. fuelled by spikes in new cases in Fraser Valley & Surrey area

Number of newly confirmed cases has tripled in Fraser Valley and doubled in the Surrey/Langley area

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

Most Read