Air Quality Health Index shows high risk for Metro Vancouver because of wildfire smoke

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      A haze of smoke is still lingering over the Lower Mainland, creating some of the worst breathing conditions of the year in the region.

      This has caused Metro Vancouver to maintain an air quality advisory.

      High concentrations of fine particulate matter are a result of wildfires in B.C. and the western United States.

      "Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted," Metro Vancouver stated today. "Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease. If you are experiencing symptoms such as chest discomfort, shortness of breath, coughing or wheezing, follow the advice of your healthcare provider." 

      Pregnant women are also being advised to be cautious.

      The Air Quality Health Index forecast is for a "high risk" on Sunday night and Monday across Metro Vancouver, with ratings between eight and nine.

      The air quality is even worse in most other parts of mainland B.C., with ratings surpassing 10-plus in the Fraser Valley, Whistler, Okanagan, Kamloops, Casltegar, Prince George, Quesnel, and Williams Lake.

      Smoky skies even forced the cancellation of today's Kelowna Apple Triathlon.

      “The national championships is the lone event of the year that brings all of us in the Triathlon Canada Nation together, but the protection, safety and health of our athletes, coaches and volunteers is our number one priority—always,” Triathlon Canada CEO Kim Van Bruggen said in a news release. “We can’t thank Susie Ernsting and her team at the Apple for their passion, commitment and tireless work in trying to pull this off. The Apple is one of the most prestigious events on the calendar and we hope to see our nation’s best racing here again in the very near future.”

      Another triathlon was cancelled in Penticton, also because of smoky skies.

      August 21 update: Wildfires' smoke gets even worse, prompting B.C. to elevate health-risk warnings for Metro Vancouver to highest levels

      Below, you can see other messages on social media about the wildfire smoke.