UPDATED 8:30AM – An Air Quality Advisory has now been issued by the Ministry of Environment. All outdoor burning 15km radius around Port Alberni banned for 2 days. Full Text Below.
AIR QUALITY ADVISORY AND OPEN BURNING RESTRICTIONS
IN EFFECT FOR THE ALBERNI VALLEY, WITHIN 15 KM OF PORT ALBERNI CITY HALL
(November 05, 2015 – Port Alberni, B.C.) The Ministry of Environment in collaboration with Island Health has issued an Air Quality Advisory for Port Alberni because of high concentrations of fine particulates that are expected to persist for the next 2 days.
Persons with chronic underlying medical conditions should postpone strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted. Staying indoors and in air conditioned spaces helps to reduce fine particulate exposure. Exposure is particularly a concern for infants, the elderly and those who have diabetes, and lung or heart disease.
Open burning restrictions are now in effect for the Alberni Valley within 15 kilometres of the Port Alberni City Hall for a period of 2 days. No new fires may be initiated and no additional material may be added to existing fires.
For more information on burning restrictions, see the section below entitled ‘Mandatory Emission Reduction Actions.’ For more information on current air quality, see: www.bcairquality.ca.
Tips to reduce your personal health risk.
- Avoid areas with wood smoke.
- Continue to control medical conditions such as asthma, chronic respiratory disease and heart
failure. If symptoms continue to be bothersome, seek medical attention.
- Maintaining good overall health is a good way to reduce health risks resulting from short-term
exposure to air pollution.
Additional tips for those with chronic underlying medical conditions:
- Stay indoors, keep windows and doors closed and reduce indoor sources of pollution such as smoking, vacuuming and use of wood stoves.
- Run an air cleaner. Some room air cleaners, such as HEPA filters, can help reduce indoor particulate levels provided they are the right size for your home and filters are changed regularly.
- Take shelter in air-conditioned buildings which have large indoor volumes and limited entry of outdoor air.
Mandatory Emission Reduction Actions
• As pollution may occur from open burning, the Director has suspended the exemption in the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation (Sections 2(i) and 4(2)(a)) that allows for open burning of debris to occur without a permit or approval from the Ministry of Environment. For the next two days, no new fires may be initiated in the Alberni Valley within a 15 kilometre radius from the Port Alberni City Hall and pursuant to Section 4(2)(c) of the Regulation, no additional material may be added to existing fires. Contravention of these provisions may be subject to a fine under the Regulation.
Date issued: November 05, 2015
_________________________________ Robyn Roome
Director, Environmental Management Act Monitoring, Assessment & Stewardship
Voluntary Emission Reduction Actions
- Avoid the use of wood stoves and fireplaces unless the sole source of residential heat.
- Where wood stoves or fireplaces are the sole source of residential heat, use only CSA/EPA
emissions approved wood-burning appliances and well-cured wood, and ensure an adequate
supply of combustion air.
- Follow local backyard burning bylaws.
- Avoid backyard burning where a bylaw does not exist.
- Reduce the use and idling of vehicles.
- Fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations averaged over 24 hours, were 29 micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3) as of 8:00 AM. This exceeds the provincial air quality objective of 25 μg/m3.
- The main sources of fine particulates contributing to this air quality episode include wood smoke
from open burning and residential home heating (wood stoves).
- Wood smoke concentrations are expected to be higher during the evening, overnight and early
morning hours and should improve during the daylight hours. Degraded air quality is expected to
continue until there is a change in the current weather system.
- Real-time air quality information from Courtenay and other B.C. communities can be found at:
Contact: Earle Plain, Air Quality Meteorologist, Ministry of Environment, (250) 751-3171
Contact: Valerie Wilson, Vancouver Island Health Authority Communications, (250) 739-6303
Showers will begin today and be spotty throughout the day as a weak system moves through.
The main system will arrive on Friday with significant rainfall expected to begin overnight tonight and continue all day Friday with the strongest part of the storm looking to hit around dinner time Friday evening.
The rain clouds won’t clear until mid morning on Saturday.
Rainfall in the 24 hours between 4AM Friday and 4AM Saturday will be significant on the West Coast with over 200mm expected in the mountains (red areas below).
Accumulations in the Alberni Valley will be between 30-60mm. Still a good bit of rain. It is likely to also be pretty blustery on Friday afternoon and evening as well.
Air Quality not Great – No Advisory Issued.
With the continuing burning happening around the Valley and the stagnant air, the Air Quality index has not improved much. Below is the last 5 days.
This should be relieved by the rain and wind though.
Have a great Thursday!