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Flights grounded, air quality advisory remains due to B.C. wildfires

A haze over Metro Vancouver on Aug. 13, 2018 (Hana Mae Nassar, NEWS 1130 Photo)

Several flights between Kelowna, Vancouver were cancelled Sunday; there were issues again on Monday

Thousands of people in the East Kootenay still under evacuation alert

Fine particulate matter can be absorbed into the blood stream and lungs, causing exhaustion and confusion

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Did your weekend travel plans go up in smoke? Several flights between Metro Vancouver and the Interior were cancelled because of the smoke and visibility issues caused by all those wildfires.

You can smell the smoke, at times, here in the Lower Mainland. An Air Quality Advisory continues in the region due to high levels of fine particulate matter, which doctors say can be absorbed into the blood stream and lungs, causing exhaustion and confusion.

Meanwhile, 11 flights between Kelowna and Vancouver were cancelled Sunday because the visibility wasn’t good enough.

On Monday morning, there were issues once again. A handful of flights between YVR and Kelowna, Castlegar and Penticton were grounded.

The issues stretched south of the border, too. The thick smoke caused serious issues at Sea-Tac airport because of poor visibility. Delays there averaged over 1.5 hours on departing flights.

There are nearly 600 wildfires burning across the province, including dozens of “wildfires of note“. The ones burning near the Nadina, Shovel and Tesla lakes in the Bulkley-Nechako region remain the largest, at more than 1,600 km² combined.

Meanwhile, in the East Kootenay region, about 4,500 people in Kimberley have been on an evacuation alert since Thursday.

 – With files from the Canadian Press