August 24, 2018 5:46 pm

Air quality advisory lifted for Metro Vancouver, Central Fraser Valley

WATCH: BC Wildfires: Lower Mainland reaches 10+ level of air quality rating (Aug. 10)

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Air quality has improved significantly in Metro Vancouver and the Central Fraser Valley, prompting the region to lift an air quality advisory.

READ MORE: No long-term health impacts from 2018’s wildfire smoke: B.C. health officer

The advisory was put in place due to fine particulate matter (PM2.5) from wildfire smoke on Aug. 13.

Metro Vancouver says changing weather conditions that began on Thursday have been pushing cooler marine air into the region, which has dropped the PM2.5 level to safe levels.

WATCH: Air quality deteriorates as wildfire smoke blankets B.C.


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The advisory remains in place for the Eastern Fraser Valley. The nearby Mt. Hicks wildfire, just north of Agassiz, is still producing large volumes of smoke in that area.

“Elevated levels of fine particulate matter in the Eastern Fraser Valley are expected to persist until there is further change in weather or fire conditions,” said Metro Vancouver in a media release.

READ MORE: Breathing easy: How to avoid the long-term health consequences of B.C. wildfire smoke

Metro Vancouver says it is continuing to monitor air quality, warning that ongoing fires in the B.C. interior and Washington state could once again push smoke into the region.

Fine particulate matter refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets smaller than 2.5 micrometres, which can easily penetrate indoors because of their tiny size.

Infants, seniors and people with underlying heart or lung conditions are particularly vulnerable.

WATCH: Smoke over Lower Mainland to start clearing today

Metro Vancouver isn’t the only area getting a breath of fresh air on Friday.

Most Vancouver Island communities are also seeing low, or “low health risk” Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) readings, as are Smithers, Squamish, Terrace and Whistler.

However, it may be some time yet before communities in the interior will see the smoke clear.

The Okanagan, Prince George, Quesnel, Kamloops and Castlegar are still seeing AQHI readings of 10+ or “very high risk.”

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