Smoke from distant fires in U.S. pose ‘very high risk’ for air quality in B.C.

Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER — Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver, showing a very high risk to health due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon.

The agency is advising people with underlying medical conditions or serious infections such as COVID-19 to postpone or reduce activities outside.

It says people with heart and lung conditions are most affected by air pollution and the very high risk is expected to continue through at least Sunday in Metro Vancouver and elsewhere in British Columbia.

The air quality health index ranks risk from low to high on a scale of one to 10, but the current risk goes beyond that level and is listed as 10-plus.

Residents in Metro Vancouver and beyond have smelled smoke from fires in the U.S. for days, with a fog-like haze continuing to obscure mountains on the North Shore and the sun giving off an eerie orange glow.

Dozens of people are still missing from wildfires across the U.S. Pacific Northwest, with authorities fearing that the receding flames could reveal many more dead across the blackened landscape.

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