A totem pole carved by Max Chickite looks out to the normally visible shores of Quadra Island on Sept. 13, 2020. Wildfire smoke has moved in to the area, making visibility poor and air quality off the charts. Photo by Marissa Tiel – Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River School District monitoring adverse air quality from wildfire smoke

Schools will be closing exterior doors and windows, keeping students inside

The Campbell River School District says it’s monitoring the air quality in the community.

In a social media post on the first day of school Monday morning, the district said it had been advised by public health that the schools’ HVAC systems will keep the air quality in buildings within suitable levels.

Until the smoke the community has been experiencing clears, schools are taking a number of steps as advised by public health. The steps include:

  • Closing exterior doors and windows, and instead using the filtered HVAC systems
  • Keeping students indoors until the air quality improves
  • Monitoring students with asthma and other health conditions that could be affected by the poor outdoor air quality
  • Rescheduling outdoor activities

Campbell River remains under a smoky skies bulletin due to “very heavy smoke from the United States (that) is continuing to have extensive impacts across the southern third of the province.” The Air Quality Index (AQI) is sitting at 185, which is within the “unhealthy” range with the main pollutant being fine particulates that are 2.5 microns or smaller in diameter, also referred to as PM2.5. The Elk Falls station is currently reporting the levels of those particulates to be 136.5 µg/m3 over a 24-hour period. The air quality objective is 25 µg/m3 provincially.

The district says it “will continue to follow all health and safety guidelines as provided by health authorities related to both COVID-19 and air quality warnings.”

READ ALSO: RCMP: Schools and playgrounds are back in full swing so it’s time to slow down

U.S. wildfire smoke blankets B.C., wafts east to Alberta, affecting air quality


@marissatiel
marissa.tiel@campbellrivermirror.com

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