METRO Vancouver is now issuing an Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter due to wildfires outside of the region.  These conditions are expected to persist for at least 24 hours.

Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (µm) or less.  PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size.  The PM2.5 currently impacting our air shed is primarily smoke that has been transported into our region from wildfires burning in the interior of B.C.

This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in either the fire activity in the B.C. Interior, or the weather patterns that are currently transporting the smoke into the region.

Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider. As we are in the summer season with warm temperatures, it is also important to stay cool and hydrated.  Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Fraser Valley Regional District and B.C. Ministry of Environment to look after air quality.

Information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air.