Smoky skies are back in Victoria Friday morning, along with an air quality index at its absolute worst for the second time this week.
As of 8 a.m. September 11—and ongoing—Victoria and Saanich have been shrouded in wildfire smoke and the Air Quality Health Index is up to 10+ which indicates “very high risk”.
This means those who are considered at risk — people with existing respiratory or cardiovascular conditions, young children, seniors, and pregnant women — are advised to avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
The general population is also asked to reduce or reschedule similar outdoor activities, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.
An AQHI rating of 7 or higher means there are high concentrations of smoke particles in the community.
Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for Greater Victoria at around 11 p.m. on Thursday, September 10, warning that the region will be impacted by wildfire smoke for 24 to 48 hours.
The smoke has been wafting over from dozens of wildfires currently blazing all along the west coast of the United States. According to the most recent update, at least nine people have lost their lives to the fires.
These fires and ensuing smoke have also resulted in a series of dystopic images out of states like California and Oregon.
Scenes from around San Francisco where dark orange skies are still blanketing the city and region.
— Jessica Christian (@jachristian) September 9, 2020
Meanwhile in Oregon..
The wildfires making it look straight apocalyptic 😱
— Buitengebieden (@BuitengebiedenB) September 8, 2020
As for Victoria, the Air Quality Index is expected to stay at around an eight, which means ‘high risk’ for during the day on Friday, go down to a seven at night, and remain at seven—still a ‘high risk’ rating—on Saturday.
A second update from Environment Canada is expected to be released Friday.
Consider not exercising (breathing) too hard today (&tomorrow..), esp if you have respiratory/cardiovascular conditions or are young/elderly/pregnant. #3rdDayofPoorAirQuality2020 #LayLow #BCSmoke #BCStorm #ORFires #WAwx pic.twitter.com/CIM7BvNiyz
— Armel Castellan (@armelcastellan) September 11, 2020