Air quality plummets across B.C. as wildfire smoke blankets province


"If you open the windows you may let in more polluted air".

Q13 News Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley says conditions aren't expected to get much better until late Thursday night and Friday, when a slight wind from the Pacific Ocean should push some of the smoke out of the area.

"It didn't feel that great to my lungs", he said.

Only far northwestern B.C. remains clear of the air quality statement in effect for the rest of the province. "You see the number of forest fires increasing, and so there's going to be wildfires", Wineke said.

Pregnant women should also take precautions because exposure to smoke can cause lower birth weights, likely leading to long-term problems, she said in an interview.

There are 17 large fires burning on more than 300,000 acres across Washington and OR with about 8,200 fire personnel deployed, according to the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center.

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The largest fire continued to be the 850-square-kilometre blaze moving north from Fraser Lake toward Fort St. James.

And it isn't just B.C. that is impacted.

Smoke originated from BC's 600-plus wildfires burning is making it's way out east, with Alberta and Saskatchewan issusing similar alerts. Portland Public Schools suspended all outdoor sports practices.

Measured at 5 a monitoring site on 12th Avenue, air here registered at 331 on the Washington Air Quality Advisory, or WAQA, index, according to the state's Department of Ecology.

The smoky pollution came from wildfires in British Columbia and the Cascade Mountains, clouding a season that many spend outdoors.

Planes at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport were grounded for a few hours Sunday due to low visibility, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.