Air quality statement persists in Quesnel, Williams Lake

The air quality in the northern Cariboo is very high risk

A special air quality statement remains in effect today for Quesnel and Williams Lake on Friday, Aug. 24.

Residents in Quesnel woke up to a dense, smoky fog this morning with restricted visibility.

The air quality statement says “communities downwind of wildfires will continue to experience high concentrations of fine particulate matter and poor air quality for the foreseeable future.”

It also says that during a wildfire, smoke conditions can change dramatically from hour to hour. People with pre-existing conditions, the elderly, infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience adverse health effects due to the smoke.

READ MORE: Smoke in Quesnel caused an increase in hospital visits, cancelled flights

Air quality in Quesnel and Williams Lake is currently rated at 10+, or very high risk. Air quality is expected to remain the same until this evening when it drops to nine, or high risk, and to seven in Quesnel and eight in Williams Lake on Saturday.

Anyone with difficulty breathing is encouraged to stay inside and find a place that is cool and ventilated, like a library or recreation centre.

Smoke has been grounding aircraft and caused an increase in hospital visits in the Cariboo over the past couple weeks.

READ MORE: Heavy smoke grounds aircraft in Cariboo Fire Centre and other regions

Environment Canada has forecast a 60 per cent chance of showers overnight in Quesnel, with a high of 21 degrees and a low of 12. On Saturday, there’s a chance of showers all day, leading into periods of rain overnight and into Sunday.

In Williams Lake, there’s a 30 per cent chance of showers today with a high of 17 and a low of nine, and a 40 per cent chance of showers during the day on Saturday, leading to periods of rain overnight and into Sunday.

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