Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for the entire Lower Mainland, from Vancouver to Hope, early Saturday afternoon.
Smoke from several fires, including over the U.S. border, one near Manning Park and one near Hope, in addition to a fire at a wood recycling facility in Vancouver is causing poor air quality and reducing visibility.
The air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley was issued because of high concentrations of fine particulate matter expected to persist through the weekend.
The air quality health index for the Eastern Fraser Valley was listed at 10+ or “very high risk” as of 1:30 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 10).
In Metro Vancouver, the rating was between 3 in the southeast and southwest areas to as high as 8 in the northwest.
“Elevated levels of fine particulate matter are due to smoke from both wildfires burning in B.C. and the U.S. and a fire burning in Vancouver at a wood recycling facility.”
Wildfires burning southeast of Chilliwack and Hope, including two fires near Manning Park (Heather Lake) and Hope (Flood Falls Trail), are producing smoke that is impacting the region.
Evacuation orders were issued later Friday for properties near the Hope wildfire, which is believed to be human caused.
Today and tomorrow, additional smoke is expected to arrive from the south, further degrading air quality.
The fire burning in Vancouver at the wood recycling facility is producing considerable smoke which is trapped near the surface by an inversion. Smoke from that fire is impacting multiple municipalities including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, New Westminster, Surrey, and Coquitlam.
Smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region as winds and temperatures change, and as wildfire behaviour changes.
“If you or those in your care are exposed to wildfire smoke, consider taking extra precautions to reduce your exposure. Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health. For more details, please consult www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/air-quality-health-index/wildfire-smoke.html.”
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