The air quality map for the south Island and lower mainland as of 6 a.m. Monday

The air quality map for the south Island and lower mainland as of 6 a.m. Monday

Mid-Vancouver Island air quality risk very high

Residents of the mid-Island area went to bed last night and awoke this morning to smokey skies and an air quality health risk considered very high.

According to the BC government’s Air Quality Health index, readings in the Nanaimo-Parksville area crossed the 10+ threshold late Sunday afternoon and are predicted to be at the 10 level tomorrow.

The site warns at-risk population (the elderly and those with heart and lung conditions) to avoid strenuous activities outdoors. Children and the elderly should also avoid outdoor physical exertion.

Members of the general population should reduce or reschedule strenuous activities outdoors, especially if you experience symptoms such as coughing and throat irritation.

The smoke — tied to wildfires raging throughout the province — has also climbed to the “very high” mark in the metro Vancouver area. Courtenay just entered the “high” category, registering 7 on the scale. Duncan is at 6 and the West Shore area 5 (moderate) while Victoria is low.

The duration of the smokiness is subject to wind or wildfire conditions.