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

Know how and when to use bear spray in the outdoors: WildSafeBC

Avoid conflict with wildlife as provincial parks set to re-open for camping and backcountry access

LETTERS: Jet boat traffic, coal mining

Jet boat traffic on St. Mary River Dear Editor The St Marys… Continue reading

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Thoughtful plan for reintroducing visitors to Kimberley required: Mayor McCormick

As the City begins the process of reopening, Mayor Don McCormick wants… Continue reading

Kimberley Scouts participate in ‘Camp In’

What is Scouting about if not the opportunity to go camping? During… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

COVID-19 checkpoints ‘up to them,’ Bonnie Henry says of remote B.C. villages

Support local tourism economy, but only if you’re invited in

Kimberley history: The Way it Was

COURTESY OF THE KIMBERLEY HERITAGE MUSEUM ARCHIVES KIMBERLEY NEWS May 31, 1961… Continue reading

Vancouver Island hasn’t seen a new homegrown case of COVID-19 in two weeks

Island’s low and steady transmission rate chalked up to several factors

Most Read