VICTORIA, B.C. – If it seems hazier than usual in the Comox Valley and Campbell River, there’s a reason.

Just after 11 a.m. today, Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for all of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast including Comox Valley, Campbell River, Duncan, East Vancouver Island from Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay, and Nanaimo/Parksville.

This is due to smoky skies from wildfires continuing to impact most of the province.

During a wildfire, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour, Environment Canada notes.
The poor air quality may cause symptoms such as increased coughing, throat irritation, headaches or shortness of breath. Children, seniors, and those with cardiovascular or lung disease, such as asthma, are especially at risk.

People are urged to stay inside if they have breathing difficulties.

The bulletin can be accessed online by clicking here.

Heat persists

Meanwhile, a heat warning remains in effect for East Vancouver Island including

  • Courtenay to Campbell River;
  • Duncan to Nanaimo; and
  • Nanoose Bay to Fanny Bay

Temperatures reaching 29 as a ridge of high pressure remains anchored offshore. This period of hot weather is likely to end on Tuesday as cooler marine air gradually pushes onto the coast.

Environment and Climate Change Canada, in conjunction with Medical Health Officials, have issued this alert due to the persistent high daytime temperatures, warm overnight low temperatures, and the extended duration of this warm period.
People are reminded to protect themselves from the heat by:

  • staying hydrated by drinking cold beverages, preferably water.
  • spending time in an air-conditioned facility for at least
    several hours every day.
  •  staying in the shade and using sunscreen with spf
    30 or more; and
  • never leaving people or pets in a parked car.