FILE – Overlooking Arrow Lakes near Castlegar in summer 2018. (Dawn English/Submitted)

Province launches new alert system for smoky skies, air quality advisories

British Columbians can sign up for the emails, with texts expected to be available in 2020

People across B.C. can now sign up for alerts of potential or existing poor air quality in their communities.

The province has launched an email alert system, allowing British Columbians to sign up to automatically receive air quality advisories and smoky skies bulletins – both common in the spring and summer months.

“Poor air quality poses health risks to people with chronic conditions like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and it can particularly affect the elderly, pregnant women, infants and small children,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, in a news release Thursday.

“The new auto-alert function will allow easy access to the level of risk in your area, so you can take steps to protect your health and the health of your family.”

WATCH: Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

There are currently 76 sites across the province that provide hourly data on the air quality to a central database where they are processed, stored and posted near real-time on the province’s website.

Air quality advisories are issued for individual communities when factors such as vehicle emissions, industrial emissions and residential wood burning cause air pollutant measurements to exceed the minimum level of provincial air quality.

Smoky skies bulletins are specific to wildfire smoke, which can occur over large distances and change quickly. The alerts are issued when areas of the province are being impacted or have reasonable potential to be impacted within 24 to 48 hours.

Wildfire smoke poses a particular risk to those with asthma or other respiratory conditions, said Sarah Henderson, senior environmental health scientist at the BC Centre for Disease Control.

The province said its working to make the alert system available through text starting next year.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four air ambulance flights out of Terrace delayed or cancelled

Pandemic precautions caused nighttime closure of service station providing weather data to pilots

Skeena Resources, Tahltan prez excited by purchase of Eskay Creek

Skeena gets full control of mine, Barrick gets 12 per cent of Skeena and a one per cent royalty

UPDATE: missing 12-year-old Terrace boy found safe

Was reported missing on Southside around 10 p.m. July 9

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

Northern B.C. First Nations call for reversal of grizzly bear hunting ban

Growing grizzly populations have led to fewer ungulates and increased fear of attacks says Chad Day

RCMP ‘disappointed’ by talk that race a factor in quiet Rideau Hall arrest

Corey Hurren, who is from Manitoba, is facing 22 charges

NHL’s Canadian hubs offer little economic benefit, but morale boost is valuable: experts

Games are slated to start Aug. 1 with six Canadian teams qualifying for the 24-team resumption of play

‘Made in the Cowichan Valley’ coming to a wine bottle near you

Cowichan Valley has the honour of being the first sub-GI outside of the Okanagan

Most Read