Like many of us for the past number of weeks I have been sitting in a semi-dark home waiting for the temperature to drop and the sky to clear. Outside has an apocalyptic feel that can literally be cut with a knife.
I’ve also taken a renewed interest in air quality. Until recently it was just a number the media reported from time-to-time.
Not now! Nowadays each morning I Google ”BC Air Quality – Province of British Columbia” and click on “Interactive Map”. It shows the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) for selected locations throughout the Province. The AQHI is Canadian made and provides a number from 1 to 10+ to indicate the level of health risk associated with local air quality. Besides the number, there is a colour code.
All the provinces and territories have adopted the AQHI.
The a.m. ritual has been an eye opener. Morning after morning Kamloops has had the worst AQHI in the Province! Usually +10. Even Williams Lake that has a fire knocking on the front door is lower.
Yet we have been warned by “Kamloops Physicians for a Healthy Environment Society”
(www.kphe.ca.) and others that Kamloops is a cesspool when it comes to air quality.
The “Physicians” have been trying to get us to understand at our topography is a magnet for air pollution.
We can’t do anything about the wildfires. But we can agree w/the “Physicians” who say allowing another contaminator into the valley can only make matters worse. There are no “safe” levels of air pollution.