Smoky skies bulletins issued, warning of poor air quality across B.C.
Upward of 80 wildfires burning across province on Wednesday afternoon
Environment Canada has issued special weather statements on poor air quality across multiple regions of B.C. due to wildfire smoke and fine particulate matter on Wednesday.
A smoky skies bulletin from the B.C. government covers the Fort Nelson region in northeast B.C., the Kinbasket area on the B.C.-Alberta border in the east, and Inland Vancouver Island.
That's where five of B.C.'s fires of note — those that are particularly concerning or pose a risk to public safety — are burning. Those include the large Donnie Creek fire in northeast B.C., the Cameron Bluffs fire near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, and two fires south of Dawson Creek.
Closer to the South Coast, an air quality advisory covering eastern parts of Metro Vancouver — including Coquitlam, Surrey and Langley — ended Thursday afternoon.
"Air quality has improved due to favourable winds and cooler temperatures," the Metro Vancouver regional district said in a statement.
The advisory had been in effect since Wednesday afternoon. The district warns there could be more advisories in the coming days.
"Given that two out-of-control wildfires continue to burn near Harrison Lake, there is potential for smoke to return and contribute to hazy conditions in parts of the region."
One of the fires near Harrison Lake, the Chehalis River fire, is burning over six square kilometres and is considered another fire of note.
The air quality advisory recommends residents postpone outdoor activity due to high concentrations of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter.
More than 80 wildfires are currently burning across the province as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, and 29 are considered out of control.
Armel Castellan, a warning preparedness meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, said it's unlikely that Metro Vancouver would see the extreme levels of wildfire smoke being seen in the eastern U.S. and Canada.
He says a small amount of rain would fall on the region around Friday, before temperatures rebound to around 10 C above seasonal averages starting next week.