Smoke to persist until at least Wednesday
Staggering volumes of smoke filling the tri-city valley will likely remain until at least Wednesday, according to Southeast Fire Centre fire weather forecaster Christina Van Eaton.
“Essentially, we are in a weather pattern that is pushing smoke up from fires in Washington,” Van Eaton said. “That flow is not going to change in the next few days.
“However, on Wednesday or Thursday we’ll see a general change in conditions, which should improve things at least a little bit.”
She said thunderstorms are expected over the southeastern part of the province, which should help mix things up a little and move some of the smoke out of the area. She also said concerns that thunderstorms might bring new fire starts are balanced by the hope that they will bring moisture with them.
Environment Canada, in a special air quality advisory, concurred with Van Eaton’s assessment.
“Since Saturday night, southerly winds have been widely spreading heavy plumes of smoke northwards from the large wildfires burning in Washington state, resulting in high concentrations of fine particulates and poor air quality,” the alert read. “While this episode is expected to persist until a major shift in wind patterns and weather conditions, smoke concentrations will vary widely as winds, fire behaviour and temperatures change.”