Clark County's air quality to shift between moderate and unhealthy

Glen Norman
August 21, 2018

Unfortunately, with an offshore flow expected, smoke concentrations will increase along coastal regions, including the Lower Mainland.

Late last week, the smoke reached into the neighbouring provinces of Alberta and affected air quality into parts Saskatchewan and even Winnipeg, Manitoba, a city about 2,000km (1,240 miles) to the east.

While he can't say if the current air quality is the worst ever seen in the region, Ries says the current levels are among the worst recorded with modern equipment. Smoke could worsen into unhealthy levels by Monday, the agency said.

Health officials are advising people to reduce or completely avoid strenuous outdoor activities.

While some people have started wearing surgical masks outdoors to protect their respiratory systems, Henderson cautioned that her organization does not recommend fighting the effects of the fine particulate matter with masks, except for people who have to work outdoors.

Wildfire smoke blankets downtown Vancouver on Monday morning.

Measured at 5 a monitoring site on 12th Avenue, air here registered at 331 on the Washington Air Quality Advisory, or WAQA, index, according to the state's Department of Ecology.

Thousands of BC firefighters are getting help from colleagues from other Canadian provinces as well as from fire crews from Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

Hundreds of residents are either under evacuation orders or are being warned that they should be ready to leave their homes at a moment's notice. Smoke from fires in British Columbia drifting into Washington and Idaho will cause unhealthy air levels through Tuesday, the weather service said.

The north end of Vancouver Island is covered by the advisory as well.

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