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

Langley golfer Erin Lee wins major Pitt Meadows tournament

Maple Leaf Junior Golf Tour (MJT) gets underway at Swan-e-Set Bay Resort

LETTER: Fort Langley driver lobbies for roundabout signalling

ICBC rules call for drivers to signal when exiting roundabouts.

South Langley community group wants to talk innovative housing

Brookswood-Fernridge Community Association invites people to a meeting about the future of housing.

GREEN BEAT: Opening ‘new roads’ in Langley makes cycling safer

HUB Langley pushed to ‘UnGap the Map’ and create more bike infrastructure throughout the community.

Langley Then and Now: A different view of Aldergrove

Check out the photo of Flag Day from 1926.

WATCH: Out and about in Langley

March 23 to 25; your guide to community happenings.

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

Terror at sea: Helicopter rescues frightened cruise passengers in Norway

The Viking Sky cruise ship was carrying 1,300 passengers and crew when it experienced engine trouble

Search and rescue team helicopters injured climber from B.C. provincial park

A 30-year-old woman suffered a suspected lower-limb fracture in Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park

DOJ: Trump campaign did not co-ordinate with Russia in 2016

Attorney General William Barr said special counsel “does not exonerate” Trump of obstructing justice

Trudeau in Vancouver to support Tamara Taggart at Liberal nomination event

The former broadcaster is seeking the nomination for the Vancouver Kingsway riding

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

B.C. VIEWS: The hijacking of our education system gathers speed

Children taught to strike and shout fringe far-left demands

Judges on Twitter? Ethical guidance for those on the bench under review

Canadian judges involvement in community life are among issues under review

Most Read