What the smoke? Poor air quality part of daily life for many in B.C.
Special air quality bulletin issued for 36 B.C. regions, surge in hospital visits due to smoke
It's been another day of hazy skies and smoky air in many parts of British Columbia.
Environment Canada continues to issue bulletins regarding air quality, including 36 on Saturday from regions from as far north as Prince George to the southern tip of Vancouver Island.
The rising number of alerts — up from 31 on Friday — are due to high concentrations of particulate matter from wildfires that are expected to persist until there is a change in the weather.
On Friday, forecasters said the South Coast might be in for a reprieve from the smoky conditions, but a change in winds did not materialize.
Dr. Bonnie Henry, a deputy provincial health officer, said there has been a near-50 per cent increase in hospital visits due to poor air quality compared to each of the past ten years.
People with chronic underlying medical conditions, infants and the elderly can be at risk from poor air quality.
Officials like Henry say it's important to watch for symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness or breath, coughing or wheezing.
"Water is your best friend," said Henry noting it's important to stay hydrated while air quality is poor and temperatures are high.
Indoor spaces with air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution.
Meanwhile, many residents have been venting their frustrations over the poor air quality on social media, while also posting dramatic photographs of conditions.