August 20, 2018 1:22 pm
Updated: August 21, 2018 1:28 am

Parts of Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley hit 10-plus ‘very high risk’ air-quality rating

WATCH: The air quality ratings are off the charts in Metro Vancouver today due to smoke from interior B.C. fires. Tanya Beja has advice from health officials.

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Air-quality readings are off the chart in parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley as smoke from B.C. wildfires heads south.

On Monday morning, the northeast and northwest parts of Metro Vancouver, and the eastern Fraser Valley had an Air Quality Health Index rating of 10-plus, which is classified as very high risk.

WATCH: What impact does the smoke have on tourism?

“Unfortunately, the wind direction changed and what we’re seeing now is the air coming in from the Interior… which is bringing lots of smoke with it.” Metro Vancouver air quality planner Julie Saxton said.

Health officials are advising people to reduce or completely avoid strenuous outdoor activities. Children and the elderly should avoid outdoor physical activity altogether.

WATCH: Heavy smoke from wildfires blanketing most of B.C.

Smoky conditions are expected to persist into Tuesday with some clearing on Wednesday when a westerly flow will clear things up later in the week, according to Global BC’s chief meteorologist Mark Madryga.

“Thursday and Friday look a lot fresher as a westerly flow kicks in and steers the smoke to the east,” he said.

READ MORE: Air quality in nearly a dozen B.C. communities ‘very high risk’ on Sunday

Air quality has deteriorated across the province as more than 500 wildfires burn across British Columbia.

Areas such as Squamish, Whistler, Nanaimo/Parksville and Castlegar also have a 10-plus air-quality rating.

WATCH: Wildfires rage out of control across British Columbia

The haze prompted flight delays in the Okanagan on Sunday and forced the cancellation of two triathlons.

The thick smoke has put a bit of a damper on what’s expected to be one of the busiest weeks for the province’s tourism industry.

Two cruise ships berthed in Vancouver on Monday, bringing a combined 4,700 visitors who may be not be able to fully take in the sights the city has to offer.

— With files from Tanya Beja and Simon Little

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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