Smithers unaffected so far by U.S. wildfire smoke blanketing parts of B.C. and Alberta

Hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington state put southern B.C. residents at high risk

While most of B.C. and now a significant part of Alberta are under air quality advisories due to wildfire smoke from the United States, Smithers and the Northwest have been unaffected.

Environment Canada shows the Air Quality Health Index for Smithers at 1, or lowest risk this morning and for at least the next 18 hours.

Meanwhile, air quality statements have been issued for four regions of southwestern Alberta along the Rockies but the weather office says alerts will likely expand before smoke exits that province tonight.

Relief will not come as quickly for B.C. residents, with the air quality index showing smoky conditions will improve only marginally by Tuesday.

The index uses a scale of one to 10 to rank risk from stagnant or smoky air and currently lists the risk at 10-plus for all but the northern quarter of B.C.

A dense, fog-like haze shrouds many cities, from Victoria and Vancouver east to Kelowna, Kamloops and the Kootenay region, turning day into a misty, smoke-tainted twilight.

The smoke comes from hundreds of wildfires burning in Washington state, Oregon and California, that have destroyed whole communities and killed at least 35 people.

PHOTO: Satellite imagery shows origin of wildfire smoke

VIDEO: California wildfires growing bigger, moving faster than ever

The Canadian Press

With files from Thom Barker



editor@interior-news.com

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