Air quality advisories due to wildfire smoke remain in effect for most of Vancouver Island

Air quality advisories due to wildfire smoke remain in effect for most of Vancouver Island
Smoke blanketed Strathcona Park from lightning-sparked wildfires within the park on Aug. 20.

Most of Vancouver Island remains under an air quality advisory due to the wildfire smoke that has settled in the air over the region and southern parts of B.C.

Only the north part of the Island, starting at Sayward, is not covered by the air quality advisory posted by Environment Canada and the B.C. government.

Environment Canada advises everyone to take precautions as “[w]ildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health even at low concentrations.”

READ PREVIOUS: Wildfire smoke triggers air quality advisory for most of Vancouver Island

People with lung or heart disease, older adults, children, pregnant people and people who work outdoors are at a higher risk to health effects caused by wildfire smoke.

Some precautions to take include stopping or reducing activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable, staying cool, drinking plenty of fluids, and making sure that children or others who can’t take care of themselves follow the same advice.

In order to reduce exposure to smoke, the B.C. government advises being aware of symptoms even indoors; run a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter to improve indoor air quality; set the fan to run continuously if you have a forced air heating/cooling system; avoid smoking, burning incense and frying foods indoors; and in a vehicle, keep windows up and ventilation set to recirculate.

READ PREVIOUS: Photos show smoky skies as air advisory issued for parts of Island

The Blue Sky Canada Fire Smoke Forecasting System shows that some parts of the Island may start to see some reprieve from the smoke starting at 10 p.m. on Monday, but by 9 a.m. Tuesday morning the smoke is expected to return.

The smoke may then start to ease again by 7 p.m. Tuesday evening for some parts of the Island.

However, the B.C. government notes that conditions can change rapidly and the forecast for smoke can vary hour-by-hour.

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Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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