Air quality advisory for Greater Victoria

Our thoughts are with friends, families and colleagues who live in one of the wild-fire impacted communities. Over the weekend we have all witnessed scenes of destruction, people being forced to evacuate and burning trees.

Smoky skies above the Lansdowne campus

Camosun College

Smoky skies above Lansdowne

The Provincial State of Emergency is supporting ongoing response and recovery effects caused by the wildfire. Additionally, there are travel restrictions in several Okanagan communities.

A special air quality advisory is in place for many regions including Greater Victoria. During wildfires, smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour-by-hour. Camosun is open as normal this week.

Smoke will affect people differently, and will have a greater effect on those with pre-existing health conditions and respiratory infections, as well as on older adults, pregnant people, children, and infants. Mild irritation and discomfort are common during smoky conditions, and usually disappear when the smoke clears.

During smoky sky conditions, it is important that you monitor your symptoms, and if the smoke begins to affect you, follow your good judgement and:

  • Stop or reduce your activity level if breathing becomes uncomfortable or you feel unwell.
  • Move indoors if you are outdoors and are beginning to feel the effects of the smoke.
  • Reduce indoor air pollution sources such as smoking, burning incense, and frying foods.
  • Employees who are required to work outside as part of their regular duties should consult their supervisor to make a plan for working indoors if/when needed.
  • When travelling in a car with air conditioning, keep the windows up and the ventilation set to recirculate.
  • If you have asthma or other chronic illness, carry any fast-acting medications with you at all times and activate your personal care plan that has been designed with your family physician. Make sure that children and others who cannot care for themselves follow the same advice.
  • If you are experiencing difficulty in breathing, chest pain or chest discomfort, or a severe cough, contact your health care provider, walk-in clinic, or emergency department. If you are having a medical emergencycall 9-1-1.
  • Please keep an eye on your pets as well and ensure they have a cool indoor location to stay in and plenty of clean water to drink.
  • Smoke levels may be lower indoors but will still be elevated, so stay aware of your symptoms even when you are indoors.
  • If you have a forced air heating/cooling system in your home, it may help to change the filter and set the fan to run continuously.
  • When indoors, keep windows closed.
  • Maintaining good overall health is a good way to prevent health effects resulting from short-term exposure to air pollution.

For more information, please visit:


B.C. air quality advisories:

Environment Canada:

BC CDC Wildfire smoke and your health:




Contact information

Rodney Porter

Camosun College