B.C. wildfires cause light orange haze over Vancouver in wake of air quality advisory

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      Vancouver residents are experiencing a small taste of what others in the B.C. Interior have been enduring for nearly a month.

      This morning, a light orange haze has descended over Vancouver. The misty skies are the result of smoke being blown from wildfires from Harrison Lake to the B.C. Interior. 

      An air quality advisory went into effect today for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley because of high concentrations of particulate matter.

      Metro Vancouver said in a news release that exposure to these particulates is of greatest concern for infants, the elderly, and those with diabetes or lung or heart disease.

      "Fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5, refers to airborne solid or liquid droplets with a diameter of 2.5 micrometres (μm) or less. PM2.5 can easily penetrate indoors because of their small size," Metro Vancouver said in the news release.

      Indoor spaces with air conditioning, such as libraries and community centres, can offer a respite from the heat and air pollution.

      Air quality remains a serious public health issue across the country.

      According to an essay by UBC researchers Michael Brauer and Chris Carlsten in a new book called Reflections of Canada, nearly 8,000 Canadians die every year as a result of this problem.

      "Air pollution causes more death than motor vehicle collisions, suicide, and HIV combined," Brauer and Carlsten wrote in the book, which was published by the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies.