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British Columbians can now sign up to get air quality alerts via text

A man and woman look out at the harbour as smoke from wildfires burning in the province fills the air, in Vancouver on August 20, 2018.
A man and woman look out at the harbour as smoke from wildfires burning in the province fills the air, in Vancouver on August 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Starting Friday, B.C. residents will be able to get real-time air quality advisories sent to their phones or email inbox.

The messages will also provide health advice and protective actions.

“Whether for COVID-19-related reasons, for wildfire smoke information or for pure curiosity, you can now reach no further than your pocket to find out about the air quality around you,” Environment Minister George Heyman said in a release.

“This subscription service is a helpful tool for all British Columbians, particularly for those with pre-existing or chronic health conditions, the elderly, pregnant women, those concerned about the health of their infants or small children, or those just looking to spend some time being active outside.”

READ MORE: B.C. releases app tracking real-time information on wildfires

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Anyone can sign up on the B.C. government website.

There are currently 76 community-specific sites that provide hourly data to a central database where they are processed, stored and posted near real-time on the B.C. air quality website.