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Wildfire smoke in Lower Mainland expected to clear by Monday say meteorologists


Indoor spaces with HEPA air cleaner filtration and air conditioning may offer relief from both heat and air pollution, but physical distancing guidelines for COVID-19 should still be observed. The warning was extended to include Metro Vancouver Saturday due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon.

According to Environment Canada, a majority of the province, including the Okanagan Valley, North and South Thompson, Shuswap, and Prince George, has been extended air quality statements.

The system rates air quality as good (0 to 50), moderate (51 to 100), unhealthy for sensitive groups (101-150), unhealthy (151-200) and very unhealthy 201 to 300.

Metro Vancouver is continuing the fine particulate matter advisory that has been in effect since September 8 for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District due to wildfire smoke from outside the region. Smoke is expected to fill the skies in these regions over the next 24 to 72 hours. Southern Alberta is expected to notice a difference in air quality by Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, Health Canada posted on Twitter to remind Canadians of the safety guidelines in the event of increasing wildfire smoke. The Advisory said residents should limit outdoor activities and keep children indoors if it is smoky.

In the US the wildfires have travelled beyond California and have reached Washington and OR state.

Onshore winds forecast to start around noon were expected to move most of the smoke north and northeast into the mountains and eventually out of the region, according to the AQMD.