Smoke from wildfires burning in the U.S. fills the air as the Grouse Mountain tram transports people down the mountain, in North Vancouver, B.C,, on Saturday, September 12, 2020. The World Air Quality Index, a non-profit that tracks air quality from monitoring stations around the world, rated Vancouver's air quality as the second worst in the world Saturday. Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver, showing a very high risk to health due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Smoke from wildfires burning in the U.S. fills the air as the Grouse Mountain tram transports people down the mountain, in North Vancouver, B.C,, on Saturday, September 12, 2020. The World Air Quality Index, a non-profit that tracks air quality from monitoring stations around the world, rated Vancouver's air quality as the second worst in the world Saturday. Environment Canada has issued a special air quality statement for Metro Vancouver, showing a very high risk to health due to wildfire smoke from Washington and Oregon. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Kitimat 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

  • Sep. 14, 2020 12:00 a.m.

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, Kitimat and the Northwest have been unaffected.

Environment Canada shows the Air Quality Health Index for Kitimat at 1, or lowest risk this morning and for at least the next 18 hours. As of Tuesday (Sept. 15), Kitimat is set to rise to 3, which is still on the ‘low’ section of the Index.

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 Clare Rayment


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