Metro Vancouver authorities has issued an air quality advisory for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District due to wildfire smoke from Washington state.

The smoke has drifted into the region, bringing high concentrations of fine particulate matter — tiny airborne solid or liquid droplets — which can cause health problems.

It is recommended anyone with a chronic underlying medical condition should not do strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted, and take the following precautions:

  • Stay indoors in a cool, air-conditioned environment and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
  • Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
  • Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.

Exposure is also a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. Residents are advised to stay cool, drink plenty of water and avoid busy roads and areas with wood smoke.

This advisory is expected to continue until Wednesday when rain showers are forecast throughout the region. It follows a now lifted warning issued in July due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone.

More information about real-time air quality readings for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley communities and potential health impacts can be found at http://www.airmap.ca and www.bcairquality.ca.