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Metro Vancouver Skies Compared To The Apocalypse As Levels Reach Highest Risk

Vancouver Air Quality

Photo: james c. (vancouver bc) / 604 Now Flickr Pool

Yesterday, Metro Vancouver skies saw a brief reprieve from the onslaught of smoke from the forest fires; however, Vancouver air quality will return to the highest risk as of Wednesday, August 22nd.

As such, residents are advised to reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if they experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

Further, sensitive groups, such as people with underlying young conditions, should avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion.

As seen on the graph below, some areas of Metro Vancouver start off with Moderate to High levels of risk. As the day carries on, however, the levels all reach 10+, or Very High Risk.

james c. (vancouver bc)
Photo: BC Air Quality

Sadly, Metro Vancouver’s air quality has been the worst in the North America this summer. In fact, the Pacific Northwest has had poorer air quality than some of the world’s worst polluters, such as Beijing, Delhi, and Dhaka.

Metro Vancouver Air Quality

As a result of the sultry skies, residents of Metro Vancouver, Seattle and Calgary are expressing their dismay Twitter.

The hashtag #smokepocalypse has gone viral, and for good reason. As many of the images convey the air quality is extremely poor to the naked eye.

While the wildfires are creating the smoke, lung irritation doesn’t come directly from the smoke, but rather the smog. Smog is formed when nitrogen oxides (pollutants emitted when fuels are burned) and volatile organic compounds (emitted from solvents) react in the air in the presence of sunlight.

While the wind may clear smoke from the local atmosphere, it may also bring it in. That’s because wildfires have spread across the West Coast. Specifically, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and California are all ablaze. As a result, BC may have sultry skies well into September, depending on future conditions.


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