B.C. wildfire smoke poses challenge for air ambulances

Metro Vancouver could get hazy later this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS IMAGES/Bayne Stanley

The smoke and haze from the B.C. wildfires is adding another layer of risk for those who fly air ambulances in the province.

Bob Alexander is the manager for the specialized response team in Vancouver.

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“We look at each one of those calls with a great bit of concern for the risk, we fly 24/7 through days and nights. Weather and the air conditions are a problem for us,” he said.

Alexander said this week, the air in the Fraser Valley was so poor that a baby had to be transported by ground rather than air.

“These issues with smoke and poor weather, they slow us down a bit, but we do our best daily to get in,” he said.

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“We have backup plans for in the event we can’t get into the closest airport on any call, we have alternate airports we can make sure we can get into.”

He said they respond to about 1,400 calls per year.

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