BRITISH COLUMBIA (NEWS 1130) – As more than 500 wildfires continue to burn across the province, smoke has prompted an air quality advisory for multiple communities.
As of Aug. 19, 10 communities had reached “high risk” levels:
-Fraser Valley (Central)
According to the Ministry of Environment, “very high risk” means people should avoid strenuous activities outdoors due to the high concentrations of smoke particles in the air. Children and seniors should also avoid any physical exertion.
Multiple communities across B.C. were also placed under “high” and “moderate” risk ratings.
“We expect the effects of the smoke, in terms of visibility, in terms of the thickness of the smoke obscuring the sky, that’s going to be the worst for the next two days,” said Jonathan Bau with Environment Canada. “Definitely as the flow weakens, then we’re going to start to get a little bit of ventilation.”
Air quality planner for Metro Vancouver Julie Saxton explains it’s hard to say when the smoke will clear.
“It’s really difficult to predict the behaviour of smoke, and particularly when it’s transported,” she said. “So it really depends on the weather and also, fire conditions and the amount of smoke being emitted.”
Saxton said those with medical conditions should stay indoors and avoid outdoor activities.
Smoke conditions in the Kamloops Fire Centre continue to challenge #BCwildfire response. Reduced visibility inhibits the ability to detect new fires and restricts and limits the use of aircraft. The below photo is a satellite image from NASA Worldview of smoke across southern BC. pic.twitter.com/Dj2KbF4gDi
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) August 20, 2018
-With files form Taran Parmar