The sun glows a sickly red over Langley City, the result of the haze from wildfires. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

Smoky skies trap B.C. man inside for days

Air quality warning issued for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley

For the last five days, retired Safeway clerk Wendell Nunes has been trapped inside his Langley home, unable to go outdoors because of the smoke in the air from B.C. wildfires.

“This is the worst I’ve seen,” said the 76-year-old Nunes, who has had Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) for more than 20 years and requires oxygen 24 hours a day.

“It limits me,” Nunes said.

“If I was to go out, my walking about would stop (after a short time) because taking a breath is difficult.”

A Metro Vancouver air quality advisory has been in place for the past week for the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley.

A statement issued Monday by the regional authority warned of “high concentrations of fine particulate matter” due to smoke from the fires and said the elevated levels were “expected to persist until there is a change in fire or weather conditions.”

People with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, lung or heart disease, as well as infants and the elderly, were advised to avoid strenuous exercise or long amounts of time outside until the smoke lifts.

Drive BC is warning drivers to be extra observant and keep their headlights and taillights on while driving.

Usually, Nunes, the treasurer of the Langley Better Breathers support group for people with respiratory illness, gets outside a minimum of three times a week, to attend the group’s exercise class at the Timms community centre in Langley City.

Even staying indoors, he said he can feel the effects of the smoke.

“Monday was really bad,” Nunes said.

“Sleep, you don’t get a lot of. You cough.”

He said family and friends of people with respiratory problems should understand that it is especially hard for them to function when the air quality drops.

“Just be supportive,” he said.

READ MORE: Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland air quality to hit ‘extreme risk’



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Chilliwack car show cancelled due to weather forecast

Popular Village Classic car show will not be rescheduled, say organizers

Agassiz author pens a kingly book

Long-time writer and producer Alexander Hamilton-Brown just finished his first novel

UPDATED: Two weeks too long for hospital ward closure, says Chilliwack mayor

Medical director of Chilliwack hospital says maternity ward will be back in business soon

Chilliwack maternity ward closure narrowed to two weeks

Fraser Health says they’ve found a solution to an expected 13-week shortage of obstetricians

Chilliwack: Time to help the helpers

Family who fostered 56 kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Protesters rally in Victoria over newly approved Trans Mountain pipeline

The Still No Consent! No Trans Mountain! 20 kilometre march will end at Island View Beach

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Crews fight wildfire along Sea-to-Sky Highway

A cause has not been determined, although a downed power line is suspected

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

Most Read