Five Corners in downtown Chilliwack looking eerie at 7 a.m. on Sept. 14, 2020, with visibility obscured due to poor air quality due to dangerously high levels of smoke particles. (Jennifer Feinberg/Chilliwack Progress)

Lower Mainland hoping for relief from blanket of smoke that has covered the region

Air quality to start improving but smoke concentrations will vary depending on winds and temperature

Air quality and smoke levels are expected to start improving slightly today in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland but the actual smoke concentrations will vary widely depending on wind currents.

Valleys tend to trap pollutants more than more open areas, and the current alert has been in place since Sept. 8.

“Smoke levels on Monday are expected to be lower,” according to the Metro Vancouver alert of Sept. 13. “However, localized smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.”

Poor air quality and reduced visibility were still the story early on Sept. 14, as the entire Lower Mainland region continues to be blanketed in smoke particles from fires raging in Washington, and Oregon.

The problem with the air quality is the fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, pose a very high health risk because of the airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less. PM2.5 can get indoors because of its small size and penetrate the lungs.

Anyone with chronic medical conditions or acute infections such as COVID-19 know by this point they should postpone or reduce outdoor physical activity. Exposure to PM2.5 is particularly a concern for people with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, and/or diabetes, individuals with respiratory infections such as COVID-19, pregnant women and infants, children, and older adults. Individuals who are socially marginalized may also be at elevated risk.

To see updates with real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley www.airmap.ca and http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/bcairquality/readings/find-stations-map.html

READ MORE: Region’s air quality is up there with the worst

READ MOREL: Satellite tracks the smoke


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
jfeinberg@theprogress.com


@CHWKjourno
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

air qualityFraser Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

PJHL delays start of season as teams struggle to secure facilities

The junior B hockey league was hoping to start Sept. 29 but is now targeting mid-October

Missing Chilliwack woman last seen on Wednesday

Friends and family concerned for Joy-Lynn Leon, 42, who was last seen Sept. 23 on Mary Street

VIDEO: Mounties looking to catch Chilliwack bike-riding teen groper

Man caught on video slapping the backside of girl near CSS riding a bicycle

Abbotsford has a COVID-19 rate 10 times higher than Chilliwack

Abbotsford has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than its neighbour to the east

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

VIDEO: COVID won’t dampen Lower Mainland woman’s Halloween spirit

Langley’s Tanya Reid posted video offering suggestions of how trick-or-treating might look for her

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Father hopes journey to aviation-safety program inspires hope

Former South Surrey resident Greg Sewell hasn’t given up on quest to mandate older-plane retrofits

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Most Read