People in the Lower Mainland should expect the haze and smoke to stick around for a few days, according to Metro Vancouver.
On Sunday (Aug. 1), Metro Vancouver issued an air quality advisory warning of high concentrations of fine particulate matter over the next few days. The advisory was issued due to wildfires burning in Interior B.C. and Washington State.
Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres or less and can easily penetrate indoors because of its small size.
Individuals with chronic underlying medical conditions or acute infections should avoid physical activity outside until the smoke clears, especially if breathing becomes laboured. People with underlying conditions such as lung disease, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma and/or diabetes and acute espiratory infections such as COVID-19 are especially at risk, as well as pregnant women and infants, children and seniors. People who are under-housed or homeless may also be at risk.
Individuals can seek relief in indoor spaces with HEPA air cleaner filtration and air conditioning but are asked to observe COVID protocols. Wearing a tightly fitted three-layer mask can also provide some relief.
Those experiencing chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing should consult a medical professional and in an emergency, call 911.