Smoke blowing south from large wildfires in northeastern B.C. and northwestern Alberta is continuing to affect air quality throughout the province Thursday, though the affected areas are less expansive than yesterday.
Environment Canada has issued a smoky skies bulletin for eastern and central regions of B.C. Thursday, June 15. The regions are being impacted or are likely to be impacted by smoke over the next 24 hours.
However, smoke is expected to clear out of B.C. through today and into the weekend as westerly flows push the smoke eastward into Alberta.
A smoke forecast map at firesmoke.ca shows smoke transferring from B.C. to Alberta by late Friday and early Saturday.
Smoke from large fires in northeastern B.C. is blowing towards communities further south. Increased smoke and decreased visibility is expected to persist in parts of the province until Friday. View the latest air quality advisory: https://t.co/vxIwr9ApwC #BCWildfire
— BC Wildfire Service (@BCGovFireInfo) June 14, 2023
On Wednesday, air quality meteorologist Gail Roth said the cooler, wet weather pattern on Tuesday opened the door for smoke to come down the central and eastern regions of the province.
“We’ve essentially had this big swath of smoke go down the eastern half of the province,” Roth said, adding the smoke reached as far as the Okanagan early Wednesday afternoon.
It was expected that smoke would make its way to the southeastern corner of B.C. overnight Wednesday, however Thursday’s bulletin shows the smoke ceasing just north of Kelowna, leaving the Cranbrook area unaffected.
Smoke conditions can change quickly over short distances and can vary considerably hour by hour. People with pre-existing health conditions, respiratory infections, older adults, pregnant women and infants, children and sensitive individuals are more likely to experience health effects from smoke exposure.