A thick haze continues to blanket the Lower Mainland, as wildfires in B.C.’s interior continue to burn, causing a spike in hospital visits in the region.
That’s according to Dr. Bonnie Henry, deputy provincial health officer, who said the increase in emergency calls and hospital visits were from people suffering respiratory conditions and other health issues related to smoke and heat.
“Depending on the day and the time of day, the increase can be from 20 per cent to 50 per cent more than we’ve seen in the past 10 years in the same area,” she said.
The BC Ambulance Service is monitoring the situation and staffing accordingly, Henry said.
The weekend was hot, muggy but slightly overcast due to the smoke.
Metro Vancouver’s air quality advisory continues, marking one week since it was called.
Cities across the region are sitting at high to “exceeded” on the scale for fine particulate matter moving in from the wildfires.
Health officials are reminding people with chronic underlying medical conditions to postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted, as exposure remains a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
With warm temperatures also continuing, people should stay cool and hydrated.