It’s probably not surprising to Castlegar residents whose eyes are watering and throats are burning — Castlegar has the worst air quality in Canada today. In fact, there are only one or two places in the whole world with worse air quality as of Thursday afternoon.
After a slight reprieve from dangerous air quality conditions early Wednesday, smoke moved back into the Castlegar area Wednesday night. Forecasts do not show things improving in the near future.
At 2 p.m., July 29, the PM2.5 reading in Castlegar reached 548, which is about 50 times above the WHO exposure recommendation.
By Canada’s scale, that puts Castlegar in the 10+ (very high risk) category.
At 2 p.m. on IQAir.com, Castlegar is listed at 503 (hazardous) on the US AQI scale, with Trail being the next worst city at 374.
Residents are advised to keep doors and windows closed and to avoid being outdoors as much as possible.