Air freshens in parts of B.C.: other regions still face air quality, fire risks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Air freshens in parts of B.C.: other regions still face air quality, fire risks

Helicopter pilot Joe Shupac, of Mayerthorpe, Alta., flies past the Shovel Lake wildfire burning near the Nadleh Whut'en First Nation in Fort Fraser, B.C., on Thursday August 23, 2018.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
August 24, 2018 - 10:30 AM

Environment Canada is offering some hope to residents of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley after nearly a week of stagnant, smoke-filled air, but the forecast is not as positive for people closer to the wildfires burning in Interior British Columbia.

Air-quality advisories remain for most of the province due to high levels of ultra-fine grit tossed up by the fires.

The weather office does say those fine particulates should continue to decline across the Lower Mainland and a smog advisory has been dropped.

Cooler temperatures and fresh Pacific air blowing toward the coast are credited for the reprieve, but forecasters say winds over the Interior will pin the smoke there and communities downwind of wildfires will stay shrouded for the foreseeable future.

Winds are also complicating the battle against many fires, including two with a combined area of more than 1,000-square kilometres southwest of Burns Lake and along the south shore of Francois Lake.

Officials say no new homes have been lost since the blaze destroyed three in Lower Post near the Yukon boundary and a trace amount of rain has fallen.

Crews are now working to keep flames away from the Alaska Highway.

It was hoped cooler, showery conditions might offer a weekend break for firefighters in the province until Environment Canada said if any rain falls, it is likely to be too spotty to make a difference.

The BC Wildfire Service says nearly 600 wildfires are burning.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2018
The Canadian Press

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