VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Finally, the air has cleared — at least for now.
Metro Vancouver has cancelled the Air Quality Advisory for the entire region, including all of the Fraser Valley.
The advisory was re-issued on Sunday after being cancelled just a couple of days prior to that, while the poor air was hanging around the Fraser Valley since Aug. 13.
The hundreds of wildfires around the province and parts of the western United States continue to produce a lot of smoke, so the advisory may be issued again. Today’s clean air has pushed out the fine particulate matter that spanned the Vancouver area and the Fraser Valley.
“Local wildfire activity, including the Mt. Hicks fire, may contribute to localized smoke concentrations,” Metro Vancouver’s release reads. “We will continue to monitor conditions and if air quality deteriorates another air quality advisory may be issued,” says Metro Vancouver in a statement.
Francis Ries, engineer with Metro Vancouver, says the levels of fine particulate matter over the last 24 hours had been low enough that they could lift the advisory today.
“Right now the data from and the smoke monitors and weather forecast would indicate to us that there’s a small possibility of some additional smoke coming from fires further north, but we think that is fairly unlikely,” Ries said earlier Monday.
Philippe-Alain Bergeron, meteorologist for Environment Canada, does not expect any winds in the immediate future bringing in additional smoke from the province’s wildfires. He says the high pressure that trapped smoke in Vancouver and the Fraser Valley has shifted.
“We are expecting much better conditions now that we are rid of that situation,” Bergeron says ” Now we are in a totally different pattern with a fairly strong north-westerly flow. That’s helping to disperse the smoke.”
He also expects some showers towards the weekend, but overall an “enjoyable weekend” for Vancouver.
Bergeron forecasts some much needed rain in areas across B.C. where the fires have been especially tough to fight.
“Where it will be most critical, in the interior where the fires are raging, we do expect to have some more substantial rain there,” he says, predicting prolonged rain for middle of next week.