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Smoke blankets Metro Vancouver from U.S. fires

Smoke in Metro Vancouver is not coming from fires burning in Canada.
Brendan Kergin
Smoke blankets over Vancouver on Sept. 11 2022

Smoke has rolled in across much of Southern B.C. this weekend, thanks to both local fires and those as far away as Oregon.

Air quality advisories are in effect Sunday across Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley, east Vancouver Island, the Similkameen and the Kootenays, thanks to the increased wildfire activity seen across the Pacific Northwest in recent weeks.

“There are a few fires ongoing at this moment,” said Ken Dosanjh, meteorologist with Environment Canada.

“The primary contributor to the [smoke] over Metro Vancouver happened yesterday and it's over White River, which is Central Washington. So basically it created a large plume of smoke and the flow was generally southeast, so it directed right over Vancouver Island and made its way into the Lower Mainland by the evening period. So that's the primary contributor.”

Dosanjh says another contributor to the smoke over the Lower Mainland is a fire burning further south in Oregon, the Cedar Creek fire.

While Metro Vancouver's smoke is primarily coming from the States, further east in the Fraser Valley, the Flood Falls fire burning near Hope is also putting up lots of smoke over the region.

Further into the Interior of the province, the Heather Lake fire burning in Manning Park is contributing plenty of smoke to the Okanagan region. But Dosanjh says the smoke is further aloft in the Okanagan than in the Lower Mainland, making air quality not quite as bad. 

But while smoke is particularly poor across Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Sunday, Dosanjh says air quality should be improving in the future.

“I would suggest that we're definitely in the worst of it at the moment,” he said Sunday morning.

The smoke is expected to stick around. 

“We are anticipating today to be pretty smoky and tonight as well, and then moving into tomorrow we're going to start getting a bit of a pattern shift," he says. “It's still going to be hazy but I do suspect at this moment that moving into early next week we are going to see a gradual improvement for air quality.”

For more information about air quality, visit this website. 

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