Metro Vancouver has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter that are expected over the next few days.
Outflow winds are bringing smoke from wildfires burning in B.C. and Washington into and over the region, contributing to elevated fine particulate matter concentrations and hazy skies.
Smoke is currently impacting the central and eastern Fraser Valley and is expected to also reach other areas today or tomorrow. Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region.
The highest levels of ground-level ozone are generally observed between mid-afternoon and early evening on summer days.
Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity until the advisory is lifted, especially if breathing feels uncomfortable.
Exposure is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) including bronchitis and emphysema, as well as asthma, and/or diabetes; individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19; pregnant women and infants; children; outdoor workers (e.g. construction and agricultural workers); and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk (e.g. people who are experiencing homelessness or are underhoused).