Smoke polluting Okanagan Valley air, quality statement issued

Arturo Kim
August 16, 2018

The agency expects air quality to reach levels that are UNHEALTHY FOR SENSITIVE GROUPS overnight and into Tuesday in many areas as a high pressure system pushes upper level wildfire smoke down.

Birrell may be among those causing a small increase in the number of residents in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley areas showing up at hospital emergency rooms this week.

Schultz said the smoke has nowhere to go and is just hanging out in the high level of the atmosphere. Officials said fires from British Columbia also are sending smoke our way.

Those who are particularly at risk are people afflicted with heart or lung disease, asthma, diabetes, infants, children, adults over 65, pregnant women, and those who have suffered a stroke. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency told KIRO Radio last summer that poor summer air conditions were similar to poor winter conditions.

The Beaverton School District has canceled all outdoor athletic activities until further notice due to the unhealthy air quality.

Limit your physical activity outdoors, such as running, bicycling, physical labor, and sports. Just keep in mind to use your best judgment, monitor air quality, and talk with your doctor.

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For those with breathing difficulties and are vulnerable to the smoke-ridden air, it is recommended you remain indoors in cool and ventilated air - especially if the air conditioner filters the air.

Air conditions should be set to recirculate and windows should be closed. These masks are usually available at hardware and home fix stores.

As wildfire smoke blankets the province, the air we're breathing is more unsafe to your health than in Beijing, China.

Global News meteorologist Kristi Gordon said there is no change in the weather pattern yet, and the thick smoke will be sticking around for a while.

The Southwest Clean Air Agency's advisory listed several other suggestions to those living under smoky conditions.

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