Air quality advisory in effect for parts of Vancouver, Fraser Valley amid heatwave

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VANCOUVER — An air quality advisory is in effect for eastern parts of Metro Vancouver and the central Fraser Valley amid a wave of extremely hot and sunny weather.

The federation that represents 21 municipalities in Metro Vancouver says in a statement the advisory was prompted by high concentrations of ground-level ozone, which forms when pollutants from burning fossil fuels react with sunlight.

Environment Canada is warning of a heat wave of record-breaking temperatures lasting until at least Tuesday, with daytime highs in Metro Vancouver ranging from 29 to 38 C and the potential for the humidex to reach into the 40s.

The release from Metro Vancouver says ground-level ozone is usually highest from mid-afternoon to early evening and suggests avoiding strenuous outdoor activities.

It says exposure is particularly concerning for people with underlying health conditions and respiratory infections, such as COVID-19, as well as pregnant women, children, outdoor workers, older adults and unhoused people.

Fraser Health says the heat wave is also causing elevated temperatures at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Abbotsford, B.C., prompting the health authority to rebook appointments that had been scheduled for this afternoon.

Heat warnings cover all but the western and northwestern edges of B.C. as well as most of Alberta and parts of Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 26, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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