Environment Canada issues special air quality statement for east Vancouver Island

B.C. government photo
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East Vancouver Island residents will have to deal with smoky air conditions as they prepare for another heat wave.

The region, along with much of southern B.C., is likely to be impacted by wildfire smoke over the next 24–48 hours, according to a media release from Environment Canada.

During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour, the release said.

“People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections such as COVID-19, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure,” it reads.

Environment Canada recommends going to a public place, such as a library, shopping mall or recreation centre with air conditioning. Oceanside Place, as well as the Parksville and Qualicum Beach libraries are all options for residents trying to escape the hot and smoky conditions.

“Wildfire smoke is a constantly-changing mixture of particles and gases which includes many chemicals that can harm your health,” the release reads.

Environment Canada recommends keeping doors and windows shut to keep out smoke, although this will be difficult for many residents without air conditioning, considering the heat the region is experiencing.

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