A photo captured on Aug. 21 shows Transfer Beach at the height of wildfire smoke passing through the area. (Mike Gregory Photo)

A photo captured on Aug. 21 shows Transfer Beach at the height of wildfire smoke passing through the area. (Mike Gregory Photo)

Air quality statement issued for Vancouver Island

It’s not like it was a few weeks ago, but Vancouver Islanders can’t breath easy yet.

The special air quality statement was issued for the entire Island early on Friday.

Increasing southerly flow today will likely spread smoke from wildfires south of the border into BC. A wetter, cooler and breezier pattern towards the end of the work week is expected to improve air quality conditions across the province.

Despite the Level 2 risk level on the AQHI scale over the next 24 hours, officials are warning to stay inside if you have breathing difficulties.

According to Environment Canada, several large wildfires continue to burn across the province, particularly over the central and northern Interior, resulting in ongoing smoky skies surrounding the wildfires.

Find an indoor place that’s cool and ventilated. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters air may help. If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air. If your home isn’t air-conditioned, consider going to a public place (library, shopping mall, recreation centre) that is air-conditioned.

See the map and advisory text for more details: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/air-land-water/air/air-quality/air-advisories

For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.

Visit www.airhealth.ca for information on how to reduce your health risk and your personal contribution to pollution levels, as well as for current and forecast AQHI values.

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