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

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag Monday amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Swansong Ride2Survive raises $1M-plus in single-day cycle from Kelowna to Delta

Saturday’s ride was the 15th and final fundraiser of its kind for North Delta-based charity event

VIDEO: Surrey’s former Flamingo Hotel goes out with a bang

The Flamingo opened in July 1955 as a motor hotel with 20 rooms

Rocky Mountain high: Surrey’s Burzan picked in NHL draft by Colorado Avalanche

Guildford-raised forward was out for a drive when he heard the news

UPDATE: ‘Shots fired’ report in Cloverdale neighbourhood was likely fireworks, say RCMP

Surrounding neighbourhood evacuated, street closed in both directions as officers investigated

SQUEEZING SURREY STUDENTS IN: The causes and impacts of overcrowding in city schools

Special series: How growth is affecting students, parents and school staff alike – and what the future holds

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Top B.C. court upholds ruling that struck down indefinite solitary confinement

Feds had appealed ruling in case brought by B.C. Civil Liberties Association, John Howard Society

Trial dates set for three men accused of 2017 killing near Hope

Lawyers for the accused appeared in Kelowna at B.C. Supreme Court on Monday

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

B.C. students’ camping trip goes ahead despite tents getting stolen

Nanaimo businesses, school staff and parents ensure trip goes on

Only legal pot shop between Vancouver and Kamloops now open

Private cannabis store on Skwah land in Chilliwack is first B.C. licensee to be Indigenous owned

‘I feel free’ says mother of BC murder victim after daughter’s belongings returned

After 11 years, Rosemarie Surakka said she feels like it is 99.9 per cent over

Most Read