British Columbia forest fire smoke recently plagued the area.
 
Over the past two weeks, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) exceeded the very high range three times. From August 7 to August 18, there were 600 exceedances of the provincial one hour objective for particulate matter (PM2.5), nearly five times the previous 2016 record caused by the Fort McMurray fire.
 
PM2.5 is a tiny respirable particulate that can penetrate deep into the lungs and pose serious health risks.
 
"[PM2.5] really depends on the wind direction, especially with over 500 fires burning in BC right now," said Fort Air Partnership executive director, Nadine Blaney.
 
Fort Air Partnership reported that August 15 alone had 161 exceedances. For comparison, in 2017 there were under 100 total particulate matter exceedances.
 
Saturday (Aug.18) was the worst, with very high ratings exceeding 15 on the AQHI scale at stations throughout the area.
 
While the smoke in the air has cleared, on-going fires and wind conditions may cause smoke to return.
 
Up to date air quality stats can be found here.
 
 

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