Residents in the central and eastern Fraser Valley continue to deal with the worst air quality in Metro Vancouver Tuesday.
“In Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley we’re experiencing widespread smoke,” Geoff Doerksen, air quality planner with Metro Vancouver, told Global News.
The air quality rating in those areas is 10-plus, the worst on the AirMap scale.
The Air Quality Health Index measures the health risk that people are experiencing when they are breathing the air, Doerksen explained.
“A 10-plus is certainly the higher end of the scale and that’s certainly a concern for pregnant women, the elderly, young children and infants as well.”
The smoke is caused by a complex of wildfires burning southeast of Chilliwack and Hope both in Canada and the U.S. They are causing the smoke to be really thick and stuck in the Fraser Valley.
“We don’t have airflow to move that smoke out of the region right now,” Doerksen said.
He added there should be improvement in air quality on Thursday and a significant improvement by Friday.
“Really what we’re seeing is the effects of this really hot, dry summer and that’s translating to more active wildfires continuing longer in the season,” Doerksen said.
People are advised to avoid strenuous activity outside and use an air filtration system, if possible.