Wearing a mask or face covering today may protect Victoria residents from more than just COVID-19.
As of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, the Air Quality Health Index in Victoria and Saanich has been rated as a “very high risk” at 10+ — the worst rating possible on the index.
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.
Residents in Victoria and Saanich woke up Tuesday morning to a thick blanket of smoke thanks to wildfire smoke from Washington state wafting over to B.C.
The wildfire in Washington state is a combination of two fires in adjacent counties that have combined and grown to over 170,000 acres in size.
Both counties have evacuation notices in place. Several other wildfires continue to blaze across the state, totalling over 300,000 acres burned.
Forecast information for wildfire conditions including smoke show a likelihood of persistent haze over the next two days.
With files from Tim Ford.