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Stay inside to avoid wildfire smoke: City of Richmond

A province-wide state of emergency was declared Friday and an air quality advisory was issued Saturday
Smoke from a wildfire in the Squamish Valley last year is pictured.

The City of Richmond is warning residents of potential poor air quality due to wildfires across B.C.

In a tweet posted on Saturday afternoon, the city warned of heavy smoke and poor air quality this weekend as wildfire smoke is expected to enter the region.

An air quality advisory was issued for the Metro Vancouver region Saturday afternoon.

Residents are advised to stay inside or find a public space that can provide relief during business hours.

It also provided tips on how to stay safe amid poor air quality:

  • Minimize exposure to smoke by reducing time spent outdoors and reducing strenuous activities
  • Use a portable HEPA air cleaner to create a cleaner room
  • Ensure you have enough medications, especially rescue medications for breathing

Richmond Fire-Rescue fire chief Jim Wishlove told the Richmond News that crews have had to attend "some really preventable fires" in the past few days, which is "disappointing."

He asks the community to be "extremely diligent" in their daily lives, including how they extinguish cigarettes, to conserve vital firefighting resources.

British Columbia declared a province-wide state of emergency Friday as the province faces the worst wildfire season ever.

So far, more than 15,000 people have been told to evacuate and more than 20,000 are placed on evacuation alert.

Although several municipalities have sent firefighters to the Kelowna area to assist in firefighting efforts, Wishlove confirmed Saturday that Richmond firefighters have yet to be assigned to the area, but are trained and prepared to assist.

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- With files from the Canadian Press