Smoky skies cause poor air quality in parts of B.C.: Environment Canada
May 19, 2023
By Haley Nagasaki
Vancouver – Environment Canada says smoke is causing poor air quality and reduced visibility through northeastern and central B.C., extending into southern regions.
But a shift in weather patterns throughout the day is expected to improve conditions.
The weather agency says smoke also started spreading to the Whistler, Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast regions Thursday, causing variable but hazy conditions.
It says smoke impacts may be worse at higher elevations in the Okanagan, but rain may alleviate the situation.
Environment Canada’s air quality statement says wildfire smoke is hazardous to health even at low concentrations, and it urges children, the elderly and people with lung conditions to avoid strenuous outdoor activities.
The BC Wildfire Service says it’s seeing reduced fire behaviour across much of the North Peace Complex.
It says some areas continue to have “aggressive fire behaviour,” but smoke is expected to dissipate in the coming days.
The service’s website lists 69 active wildfires in the province.
Large, open burning was banned across the province on Thursday to prevent human-caused wildfires.
Starting at noon today, all open fires, including campfires, will be prohibited throughout the Prince George Fire Centre.
The area spans much of northeastern B.C., including Fort St. John, and is where all four out-of-control wildfires in the province are located.
The service says campfires elsewhere in the province have to be confined to 0.5 metres in height and 0.5 metres in diameter, with water kept on hand to douse the flames.
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