Metro Vancouver air quality advisory now the longest in the region’s history

Click to play video: 'South Coast sill under air quality advisory' South Coast sill under air quality advisory
Michael Brauer, a professor of public health at the University of British Columbia, talks to Global News Morning about people facing health issues due to the smokey air in the South Coast – Aug 7, 2017

At 10 days long, the current air quality advisory that’s been issued for Metro Vancouver is the longest in the region’s history.

The advisory was issued on July 31 as winds carried smoke from wildfires burning in B.C.’s Interior to the province’s South Coast.

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Roger Quan, Metro Vancouver’s director of air quality policy and climate change, said the current advisory is the longest in the region since the regional district started an advisory back in the 1970s.

The region has issued an air quality advisory in the two of the last three years. In 2015, wildfire smoke led to an advisory that lasted five days.

READ MORE: Air quality statement extended for Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley

Quan is hesitant to speculate on when the current advisory may be lifted, but noted that Environment Canada forecasts suggest wind and rainfall could help clear the air this weekend, making for a rare time when people in the region “would welcome a little rainfall.”

In the meantime, people with chronic underlying medical conditions are being told to avoid strenuous outdoor activity and contact a health care provider if they have difficulty breathing, chest pain, discomfort or a sudden cough.

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