“Right now we are experiencing the worst air quality we have ever seen in this part of the region,” said Ken Reid, Superintendent of Environmental Monitoring and Sampling for Metro Vancouver. .
For most of the day, Vancouver ranked fourth on a list of cities with the worst air quality in the world – eclipsed only by three US cities closer to wildfires in the US Pacific states. .
The smoke from these fires will hang around for at least a few more days, with the possibility that more smoke may escape from the sea.
“There may be times when there is less smoke, there may be times when there is more smoke,” Reid said. “If smoke comes in at higher elevations, at higher elevations, it can create dramatic sunsets, orange skies, or even block the sun every now and then.”
Conditions are unlikely to be as bad as in San Francisco, where an ominous orange haze swept over the city earlier this week, creating doomsday images.
Still, the situation here is bad enough that even healthy people are encouraged to avoid strenuous activity until air quality advisories are lifted.
Conditions are especially bad for people with underlying illnesses like asthma, and it could also make symptoms worse for people with COVID-19.
Just getting inside may not be enough to help as the particles are small enough to find their way inside homes, even with windows and doors closed.