Vancouver’s air quality affected as several wildfires rage


According to a news statement from the Metro Vancouver district, wildfires burning in British Columbia and Washington state have resulted in an air quality advisory for metro Vancouver.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, the smoke is increasing the area’s high concentrations of fine particulate matter, which are the healthiest and pose the biggest risk.

When PM 2.5 concentrations are high, local Canadian officials advise residents to “postpone or restrict outdoor physical activity, especially if breathing is difficult.”

According to the press release, fine particulate matter, or PM 2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid particles with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. According to the US EPA, that is 30 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. According to the press release, PM 2.5’s modest size makes it simple to enter buildings.

Officials in Vancouver predict that the weather will remain stagnant for at least the next few days, which means that the air quality is also unlikely to alter.

According to a press release from Metro Vancouver, “Smoke concentrations may fluctuate widely around the region as winds and temperatures shift, as well as when wildfire behaviour varies.”

There are currently nine active wildfires in Washington, according to a Friday update from Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. This includes the Cedar Creek Fire, which is 40% contained. It has burned 122,794 acres since it began on August 1, according to the Incident Information System.

There is also smoke from a wildfire on Cypress Mountain, a popular ski area in West Vancouver, “contributing to hazy conditions already being experienced in Metro Vancouver,” said the press release.

Due to unseasonably warm and dry conditions, Metro Vancouver officials have also extended lawn watering restrictions from Saturday until October 31 in order to better conserve the region’s drinking water, according to a Metro Vancouver water conservation advisory.


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