Last year in August, Metro Vancouver air quality was worse than Los Angeles and Beijing. The reason? Wildfires. Fine particulate matter in North Vancouver was far above the healthy level.
Since April 1 this year, 609 wildfires have been discovered in BC, according to BC Wildfire Service. 26 wildfires larger than 0.009 hectares are currently active in the province. A total of 2,117 wildfires were discovered in 2018.
Forest fire smoke is a complex and dynamic mixture of gases and very small particles that can irritate the respiratory system and cause systemic inflammation. Now that wildfires are becoming more common, you have an opportunity to find out how to stay safe in smoky conditions.
On Wednesday, August 14, from 3 to 4 pm at Parkgate, Vancouver Coastal Health medical health officer Dr. Mark Lysyshyn will talk about the potential effects of wildfire smoke on health and will share tips for staying safe in smoky air, whether indoors or outdoors, or driving in a motor vehicle.
Dr. Mark Lysyshyn works as a Medical Health Officer with Vancouver Coastal Health where he works closely with the Harm Reduction and Population Health programs. He is a specialist in Public Health and Preventive Medicine and Internal Medicine as well as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia School of Population and Public Health.
You can register online here or call 604-929-3727 ext. 8166.