From the BC Centre for Disease Control:
Different agencies provide information on current air quality across the
province using a range of tools. Wildfire smoke, like wood burning appliances is a complex mixture of air pollutants, but fine particulate matter (PM2.5 ) poses the greatest risk to human health.
In British Columbia, the current PM 2.5 levels can be used to generate Smokey Skies Bulletins, Air Quality Advisories and estimate the current Air Quality Health Index (AQHI), which provides health advice for different risk categories of people. If your community does not have an AQHI listed then the chart in the fact sheet below can give you an idea of health risk according to sensor readings near you.
Charts like these exist on most maps where smoke levels are recorded.
For more about how smoke is measured and these levels are figured out click here: plain language on micro emissions.
The Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) provides hourly air quality readings and related health messages. The AQHI reports on the health risks posed by a mixture of pollutants, including:
- Particulate matter (PM2.5)
- Ground-level ozone (O3)
- Nitrogen dioxide (NO2)
British Columbians can use the AQHI to check the quality of outdoor air before heading off to work or play. They can also sign up for alerts based on the AQHI and custmoize the alert according to their preference.
For the Provincial Latest Data including PM and VOC’s click here.
Below are the Health Authority links. But first – Air Quality Apps. These are produced by various organizations using AI, weather underground uploads, Ministry data and more. To name a few I like:
Meteoblue: Meteo Blue for weather and Air Quality, webcams and more. (linked to Smithers).
The Weather Network: https://www.theweathernetwork.com/ca/weather/british-columbia/smithers
Smoke Forecasts: https://firesmoke.ca/forecasts/current/
BreezeOMeter: This is built into everyone’s iphone but I’m not sure how accurate it is. Try to use Provincial Ministry (BCWILDFIRE/Environment) instead of this app.
BC Centre for Disease Control
First Nations Health Authority, The Mobile App creates the opportunity to receive direct information to support the health, wellness, and safety of BC First Nations.
BC Lung Association