Valley under air quality advisory

Smoke from forest fires in Washington are blowing north into the Fraser Valley.

Smoke from wildfires south of the border have triggered an air quality advisory for central and eastern Fraser Valley.

Metro Vancouver issued the advisory for the central and eastern sections of the Fraser Valley due to elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter emanating from smoke from wildfires in Washington State.

Anyone with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted.

Staying indoors and in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure.

Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.

This advisory is expected to continue until there is a change in the current weather.

Metro Vancouver works in cooperation with Environment Canada, the 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 the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at www.airmap.ca and www.bcairquality.ca.

What is fine particulate matter?

Fine particulate matter refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (μm) or less. It is also known as PM2.5. PM2.5 concentrations tend to be highest around busy roads, industrial operations, major ports as well as areas with residential wood burning. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size.

To stay healthy during an air quality advisory:

• Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic and areas with wood smoke.

• Stay cool and drink plenty of water.

• Continue to manage medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.