Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Air Quality in Victoria Reaches “High Risk” Level

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As you might be able to tell from the haze across Victoria’s skies, our air quality isn’t great right now.

Smoke from wildfires in British Columbia’s interior has drifted over Victoria and the lower mainland. The phenomenon has made for some beautiful photos but also polluted our surroundings considerably.

In fact, the weather has led the Canadian Government to release a “Special Air Quality Statement”. It contains a Smoky Skies Bulletin for communities in the East Vancouver Island, the Southern Gulf Islands, and Greater Victoria regions.

Air Quality Index
Victoria/Saanich – Air Quality Health Index for 12:00 pm, August 3, 2017

This Bulletin will remain in effect until further notice. Higher pollution levels are expected to persist into Friday.

How to keep yourself and your family healthy:

In terms of susceptibility to changes in air quality, people generally fall into two categories: the General population and the At-Risk population.

At-Risk Population

Exposure to increased smoke concentrations is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have underlying medical conditions such as heart or lung disease.
Those at risk should avoid strenuous activities and prolonged exposure to smoke.
Individuals, who experience any of the following symptoms should contact their health care provider: difficulty in breathing, chest pain or discomfort, sudden onset of coughing, or irritation of airways.

General Population

Consider reducing or rescheduling strenuous activities outdoors if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

Should symptoms develop (such as an irritated throat or cough) individuals may wish to consider limiting their activity and exposure.

Keep yourself informed of air quality and the air quality health index for your area by clicking here.

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Alistair Ogden
Former staff writer at Victoria Buzz.

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