British Columbia

Smoky skies advisories remain in place for southern B.C.

Air quality advisories remain in place for much of southern B.C. on Monday morning as forest fires continue to burn across the region.

Winds pushing smoke north from wildfires in Washington state, says Environment Canada

A smoky dawn at Oyama Lake near Kelowna, B.C. on Sunday morning. (Chris Walker/CBC)

Wildfires from across the Pacific Northwest are causing dangerous air quality ratings for parts of British Columbia's southern Interior. 

In Grand Forks, where the 227-square-kilometre Kettle Complex wildfires are burning only a few kilometres away, the air quality is more than five times worse than on an average day in Beijing. 

The air quality health index for the South and Central Okanagan is literally off the charts, currently listed at 14 on a scale from one to 10.

Environment Canada advises that everyone in those regions reduce strenuous outdoor activity, especially those with heart or breathing problems.

Smoke blankets southern B.C.

7 years ago
Duration 2:18
Smoke from wildfires has triggered smoky skies advisories for much of southern B.C.

The air quality advisories were put in in place for much of southern B.C. on Sunday because of wildfires burning across the region.

"Since Saturday night, southerly winds have been widely spreading heavy plumes of smoke northwards from the large wildfires burning in Washington state, resulting in high concentrations of fine particulates and poor air quality," said the Environment Canada alert.

"While this episode is expected to persist until a major shift in wind patterns and weather conditions, smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change."

Areas affected by the Environment Canada smoky skies advisory include:

  • Okanagan Valley
  • North and South Thompson
  • Similkameen
  • Fraser Canyon
  • Nicola
  • Shuswap
  • Boundary
  • Southern areas of East and West Kootenay
  • Elk Valley
  • East Vancouver Island
  • Central and Eastern Fraser Valley

Metro Vancouver has also issued an air quality advisory for the Central and Eastern Fraser Valley because of elevated concentrations of fine particulate matter due to smoke from wildfires in Washington state.

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