Particulate matter concentration in Smithers is at a high level, necessitating an air quality advisory.
PM 2.5 was at 38 micrograms per cubic metre as of Thursday morning. The provincial air quality objective is 25 micrograms per cubic metre.
Under a Smithers bylaw, no wood burning appliances are to be used unless they are the only source of heat.
Northern Health and the Ministry of Environment are also recommending that vehicle idling and use be limited. The advisory says 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.
Low wind speeds and a deep inversion over Central B.C. are limiting the movement of pollutants in the atmosphere. These conditions will slowly break down overnight though cold air will remain pooled in valley bottoms.
A warm front will arrive late Friday. Wind speeds will increase in advance of this change in weather, however vertical mixing of pollutants will remain limited. For this reason air quality may not improve until later Friday afternoon, unless emissions are reduced.
Prince George and Vanderhoof are also above provincial standards, at 33 and 55 micrograms per cubic metre respectively.