Smoky sky with sun peeking through and trees in the foreground

Wildfire smoke

What you need to know

Wildfire smoke can affect your health, even at low concentrations. Reducing exposure to wildfire smoke is the best way to protect your health.

Hot indoor air can be more dangerous than wildfire smoke. Prioritize keeping cool when the weather is hot and there is smoke. Learn more about staying safe during hot weather

Check on others frequently to ensure they are safe, especially older adults and vulnerable neighbours.

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Cleaner air space locations

If you're looking for relief from wildfire smoke, you can visit one of our cleaner air spaces in community centres or library branches with high-efficiency particulate air filtering, or MERV 13 filters. These filters help trap and reduce the small particles found in wildfire smoke.

These facilities are activated as cleaner air spaces when Metro Vancouver issues an extended air quality advisory due to wildfire smoke for the City of Vancouver.

Cleaner air space

Cleaner air space with air conditioning

Cleaner air space - entire facility

 Locations with cleaner air spaces

How wildfire smoke affects your health

Wildfire smoke contains small particles that can cause mild to severe health effects when inhaled. Even at low concentrations, wildfire smoke can be harmful to everyone’s health. You may experience symptoms if you are exposed for a long time or if you breathe in a lot of smoky air. Call 8-1-1 for health advice.

People who are at higher risk of experiencing health effects

Individuals who are more sensitive

  • People with chronic health conditions, such as:
    • Asthma
    • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
  • People who are pregnant
  • Older adults  
  • Infants and small children
  • People who have been diagnosed with a respiratory infection

Individuals who are more exposed

  • People who are experiencing homelessness or are under-housed
  • People who live in spaces without mechanical ventilation, air filtration systems, or portable air cleaners
  • People who work or are active outdoors 

Alertable: public alerting system

Download the Alertable app to receive alerts about significant local emergencies.

Staying safe in hot weather

Even in temperate, coastal BC, heat can be harmful. Find out how to stay cool during the summer in Vancouver.

Beach water quality

Beach water quality is monitored for E-coli bacteria counts from May to September by Vancouver Coastal Health and Metro Vancouver.