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Photos show hazy smoky skies across Lower Mainland, air quality is at its worst

Click to play video: 'Smoky skies and high heat make for dangerous conditions' Smoky skies and high heat make for dangerous conditions
High heat and an influx of wildfire smoke are making for off-the-charts air quality readings, and dangerous conditions for those with breathing issues. Jordan Armstrong reports – Aug 13, 2021

Residents of the B.C. Interior have been dealing with smoky skies for weeks but the haze has now reached the Lower Mainland and air quality is at its worst.

Photos from across the region show thick smoke in the air, an orange glow around the sun and even ash falling on cars and gardens.

Read more: B.C. wildfire map 2021: Location and size of the fires burning around the province

Click to play video: 'Extreme heat and poor air quality hits B.C. south coast' Extreme heat and poor air quality hits B.C. south coast
Extreme heat and poor air quality hits B.C. south coast – Aug 12, 2021

At the Chilliwack Airport, all general aviation traffic was grounded due to the thick smoky conditions.

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An air quality advisory continues to be in place for the region as the air quality health index from Horseshoe Bay to Hope is now at a 10+, meaning there is a very high health risk due to high concentrations of fine particulate matter.

Click to play video: 'Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies' Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies
Keeping pets safe with smoky Okanagan skies – Aug 1, 2021

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Anyone with underlying health risks should avoid strenuous activities outdoors and children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor activities.

Everyone should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if symptoms of coughing or throat irritation are present.

Read more: New solutions needed as exposure to wildfire smoke becomes regular occurrence: experts

The current weather forecast indicates hot temperatures Friday and Saturday.

It is expected the smoke could start to clear Sunday evening and into Monday.

Hazy smoky skies seen in Burnaby on Friday. Miranda Fatur / Global News

The City of Vancouver is bringing in a couple of new measures to try and help people keep cool over the next few days.

For the first time ever, the Park Board is opening the Mount Pleasant community centre as an overnight cooling centre.

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There are three other overnight cooling centres being opened by the city including the Gathering Place where pets are allowed.

–With files from Janet Brown

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