Parts of Vancouver Island will experience smoky skies over the weekend: Environment Canada


Environment Canada says wind is expected to bring smoke from a wildfire near White River, Washington to parts of Vancouver Island.

Ken Dosanjh, a meteorologist with Environment and Climate Change Canada, told CHEK News that Victoria is expected to see the most smoke, but areas as far north as Gold River can expect to see smoky skies.

“It’s basically headed straight for Vancouver Island at this point, specifically Victoria and the southern parts of the island,” Dosanjh said. “It’s likely to persist today and tonight…and then tomorrow we’re looking at a continuation from today, except maybe a little less because of this system coming in from the southwest over the Pacific waters.

Dosanjh says there is a chance of minor rain overnight and Sunday which could alleviate some of the smoke for the island.

Just before 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Environment and Climate Change Canada issued a Smoky Skies bulletin for parts of the province, including Sidney, Victoria, Saanich, Langford, Metchosin and the southern Gulf Islands.

“Stay indoors if you have breathing difficulties. Find a cool, ventilated indoor area. Using an air conditioner that cools and filters the air can help,” the bulletin states. “If you open the windows, you risk letting in more polluted air. If your home doesn’t have air conditioning, consider going to a public place (library, mall, recreation center) that has air conditioning.

According to Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Air Quality Health Index, air quality in Duncan, Nanaimo, Comox, Courtenay, Victoria/Saanich and West Shore is expected to be around three out of 10+ on Saturday. On Sunday, all of those areas except Victoria/Saanich and West Shore are expected to drop to four.

The air quality advisory for Victoria/Saanich and West Shore is expected to go up to seven, which is the lower end of the high-risk category. At this level, those at risk are advised to reduce or postpone strenuous outdoor activities, and the general population should consider reducing strenuous outdoor activities.

These areas should also be around seven on Sunday.

Dosanjh says that at this level of air quality advisory, high-risk people with conditions like asthma should cut back on strenuous outdoor activities and everyone else should cut down on the time they spend outside.

He says that after Sunday the sky should be clearer.

Dosanjh says on Saturday there should be no cloud cover, so if people see anything that looks like clouds, it’s most likely smoke.

Do you have photos of smoky skies that you would like to see appear online? Send them to [email protected]

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